“The coal industry is cracking faster than the ice sheets, but it might not be fast enough.”
From The Washington Post. By Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/aep-agrees-to-close-3-coal-plants-in-emissions-lawsuit/2013/02/25/a11f1a96-7f5d-11e2-b99e-6baf4ebe42df_story.html
Feb 25, 2013 04:49 PM EST
One of the nation’s largest utilities agreed Monday to close three of its coal-fired power plants as part of a settlement with government officials and environmental groups, the latest sign of how the nation’s electricity supply is shifting away from coal.
By modifying the settlement, AEP will be allowed to install cheaper and less stringent pollution controls on its large Rockport coal plant in southern Indiana.
The company will now give $6 million to the eight states that, along with the Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups, filed the original 1999 lawsuit against it to address the pollution that drifts east from AEP plants in the Midwest. The states are Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maryland, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. The company will also provide $2.5 million to citizen groups in Indiana so they can address air pollution.
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman noted in a statement, “Coal-fired power plants make the largest contribution to air pollution in New York’s skies.”
Sierra Club attorney Bruce Nilles, who helped negotiate the agreement, said in an interview that the result showed how a combination of market forces and environmental activism had weakened the hand of the coal industry in the United States. But he added that in the face of rising carbon emissions worldwide, environmentalists could not declare total victory.
“The coal industry is cracking faster than the ice sheets, but it might not be fast enough,” he said.