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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Coal was cheaper than gas until the recent advance in drilling and recovery technology. Unfortunately, utilities can't just switch to gas when their boilers are designed for coal. Gas is now $1 MM/BTUs less than PRB coal landed in the Midwest.

The cost per MW is surprisingly comparable, with combined cycle gas-fired plants rivaling many coal-fired plants. I don't watch the daily costs, but what I've seen more recently, the most efficient coal-fired generating units still run at a lower cost than combined cycle gas generation, but not much lower. And a lot of smaller, older coal generators are more expensive to run than gas.

The big disadvantage for coal right now is one created by the government - EPA standards have become more stringent and are being applied to older units. Utilities are finding that it isn't cost-effective to retrofit older generation with the latest pollution control equipment and are closing down many of the older coal-fired generation instead.

It's not because the plants are no longer servicable, it's because the EPA has grossly overstepped its authority.

31 posted on 09/04/2012 5:48:05 AM PDT by meyer (It's 1860 all over again - the taxpayer is the new "N" word)
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To: meyer
Good luck getting a permit for any new gas unit. Utilities expect a series of lawsuits based on emissions from gas.
Part of the runup in coal has to do with rail freight. Another price driver is exports are where the growth is happening.
35 posted on 09/04/2012 5:56:54 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (I didn't post this. Someone else did.)
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To: meyer

It’s not because the plants are no longer servicable, it’s because the EPA has grossly overstepped its authority.

You are correct, however...

What authority? I don’t recall giving anyone bureaucratic authority to wield power in a constitutional world. Only Congress, an Executive, and a judicial branch, and if I may say, they have all grossly overstepped their authority, not to mention said bureaucratic agency.


89 posted on 09/06/2012 5:28:37 AM PDT by wita
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