Trump $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan Stands to Disadvantage Impoverished Communities
In a shift in long-standing federal policy, the Trump administration is beginning a $1.2 trillion infrastructure-improvement push that prioritizes attracting profit-motivated investors over determinations based on public benefit. The strategy could put impoverished communities at a disadvantage. “Instead of the public sector deciding on public needs and public priorities, the projects that are most attractive to private investors are the ones that will go to the head of the line,” one analyst said.
As Coal Revenues Dry Up, Wyoming Considers to Property Taxes for School Funding
The state senate voted unanimously to move forward with a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow school districts to pay for new school construction with property tax revenue. The plan is a departure from reliance on coal leases from public lands and is being pursued as a way to replace $1 billion in such funding, which has all but disappeared in recent years.
Kentucky Coal Job Gains in 2017 Seen as Unsustainable
Even with a recent uptick in coal-industry jobs in Kentucky, analysts do not consider the gains sustainable. Even the federal government is skeptical: “The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that after an upturn in coal production in Central Appalachia in 2017, production in the region will generally decline.”
Commentary: A Grass-Roots Push Toward Responsible Change
Pushing back against new federal policies aimed at propping up the old U.S. energy economy, local governments are crafting their own electricity-generation strategies, note the authors: “2018 is shaping up to be a year when neighborhoods, towns and cities take control over their own energy destinies, working to promote a just transition to clean energy for all, regardless of income, race or zip code
Electricity Company That Reaches Into 11 States Announces a Clean-Energy Transition
Ohio-based American Electric Power, which has five million customers in 11 midwestern and southern states, is changing its business model from coal-fired generation to a combination of gas- and renewable-driven power. “The energy industry is in an era of transformation, moving rapidly toward a cleaner energy economy,” said Nick Akins, AEP’s chairman, president and CEO.
Solar Park Rises Near Site of Retired New York Power Plant
In Grand Island, N.Y., planners are proceeding with an initiative to build a 20-megawatt solar park across the Niagara River from the defunct coal-fired Huntley Power Generating Station. “To have this type of change where we can have all this electricity, all this power and not put anyone’s life at risk or threaten anyone’s health is kind of an amazing thing,” the town supervisor said.
Op-Ed: Why a Big Utility Is Embracing Wind and Solar
Costs for renewable technologies are decreasing. In Colorado, Xcel will replace two coal-burning units with built from scratch wind and solar plants and still save money.
Study: ‘Tough Task Ahead’ for Coal Country
The Appalachian Regional Commission has published a study by researchers at the University of Tennessee and West Virginia University that documents “a vicious cycle at work” in the decline of the coal industry and its wide-ranging impact on local and regional economies. “Talk of bringing back coal is a distraction from the real work that needs to be done,” said the president of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development.
Editorial: ‘Empty Promises to Appalachian Coal Miners’
Political rhetoric from Washington will neither reverse market forces that are making old ways of generating electricity obsolete nor help hard-hit communities. “What miners need are real programs to help transition them to new jobs, not promises of ‘beautiful, clean coal.’”
In $100 Million Deal, Developer Will Replace Chicago Coal Plant With Online-Shopper Warehouses
The site of a Chicago coal-fired power plant that was shuttered in 2014 has been sold to a development company that plans to spend $100 million to turn the 70-acre location into a warehouse complex for online shoppers. Crawford Power Generating Station, which opened in the 1920s, was one of the last two coal-fired plants in Chicago at the time of its closure.