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Purdue University has just announced that it's scuttling plans to build a coal plant to provide power to its campus in Indiana. That closure, the Sierra Club tells Reuters, marks something of a happy milestone: It's the 150th coal plant to be abandoned in less than a decade. So what's spurred the spree of ditching coal? There are a number of factors indeed, the ever-growing consensus that they're contributing to the warming of our planet -- and that they'll be bad for business in the none-too-distant future -- chief among them. Oh yeah, and natural gas got cheaper too.
Purdue said it dropped plans to build the coal plant after gas prices fell and the likelihood of future environmental regulations with respect to coal.There are currently only 41 coal plants still scheduled to be built in all of the US -- a number waaaay down from the hundreds that were planned just 10 years ago. Clearly, the forecast for coal as a long-term investment grows bleaker by the day. Which is encouraging -- it shows that despite all the howling about too-strict regulations or energy taxes, the market is naturally booting them out. Too bad that those market forces are simply moving far too slowly.
The Sierra Club, which wants to see all coal plants shut, said the industry has not started construction on any new coal plants over the past two years and has announced the phase out of more than 50 plants over the next several years.
More on Coal Plants in the US
Coal Plants Do $62 Billion of Damage a Year to US Environment ...
The Climate Bill is Already Killing Coal Plants
50000 MW of Nation's Dirtiest Coal Plants Could be Shut Down