Local Board Ignores Trump, Closes Coal Plants

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Good news -- common sense and basic economics have prevailed in the fact of political graft.

Trump called on the federally-owned Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to save a coal-fired power plant in western Kentucky that is supplied by Trump's favorite coal baron Bob Murray, but the TVA board has now voted to close the plant and one other in the region.

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Tennessee Valley Authority voted on Thursday to close two coal-fired power plants, including one in Kentucky that was mostly supplied by a company chaired by a donor to President Donald Trump, who had called on the U.S. owned utility to keep it open.

The 870-megawatt Bull Run coal plant in Tennessee will close by December 2023 and the 971-MW Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky shut by December 2020.

Paradise 3, which entered service in 1970, was mostly supplied with coal last year by Murray Energy, which is chaired by Robert Murray, a donor to Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.

A majority of the TVA's board members (4 out of 7) were appointed by Trump so this decision will likely sting. He hates it when people he appointed don't automatically do what he tells them to.

Political reasons would have been the only reason to continue operating coal-fired power plants that are no longer economically viable. The same will be true for virtually every coal-fired power plant in the country at some point in the relatively near future.

The vote to close the plant in Kentucky passed by a margin of 6 to 1.

  • Badgerite

    There are better ways to spin a turbine than burning coal. Energy storage, better batteries, are the key to future energy plants that rely on the forces of nature. And scientists are working all over the globe to perfect those.
    Coal is done. It is only of matter of how soon. And it would seem that that will be very soon.

  • katanahamon

    I think the only mature response here is…HAH!

    • muselet

      Something like this, perhaps?


  • muselet

    Despite the howling from the likes of Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, there is no way to make a coal-fired power plant operate economically any longer, not to mention the impossible-to-mitigate environmental disaster that is coal.

    Thanks to (six of seven members of) the TVA for recognizing that fact and acting appropriately.


  • gescove

    That is truly good news.