From Bloomberg Energy:

But the biggest beneficiaries of the Trump plan would be old, dirty, inefficient coal plants that have lots of room to improve efficiency, and there aren’t many of those in the nation’s coal fleet anymore, said Devin Hartman, electricity policy manager and senior fellow with the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank.

“A lot of those old dogs are off the system,” Hartman told Bloomberg Environment. “The surviving plants, because of all the prior regulations and the forces of natural gas that have pushed the bad ones out—they tend to be higher-efficiency plants. They already have pretty impressive efficiency numbers compared to the legacy coal plants of the early 2010s.”


“This may delay some coal retirements marginally and could boost coal’s operating returns modestly,” Hartman said. “Ultimately, market forces will determine coal’s reckoning.”


The Trump plan also could discourage regulated utilities from building new non-coal plants, which were planned on the expectation that carbon emissions would be expensive, according to Hartman.

“However, power investments span a horizon that overwhelmingly exceeds the potential duration of this administration,” Hartman said. “Even with two terms this administration may only see two years of rule implementation. Thus, economic forces and state policies will continue to be the primary determinants of coal.”

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