Are electric utilities moving fast away from dying coal? Or are they confidently counting on coal for the foreseeable future? That depends on who they're lying to.
Via Barefoot and Progressive, here's Ken Ward Jr.s' Coal Tattoo:
Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, and perhaps part of it was the way the stories were reported by two different reporters (neither of which was me — and I didn’t attend Akins’ appearance in Charleston or the company’s annual meeting). But it struck me as a bit of playing to your audience. To shareholders worried about their bottom line, the message was that AEP is diversifying and moving away from what is fast becoming a costly and out of favor fuel. To West Virginia business leaders — always a crowd who wants to hear how great a future coal has — the message was to not worry and be happy. Nothing to see there with those projections of huge declines in Central Appalachian coal production. Just move along.
You don’t hear nearly as much about instances where companies engage with EPA and the agency reaches a satisfactory compromise.
But most importantly, you don’t hear much of anything out of West Virginia’s political leaders about their plan for dealing with the coming reductions in coal production from the state’s southern counties. Shouldn’t the media be asking gubernatorial candidates about that, instead of wasting time about whether one particular federal employee should be fired?
Coal is dead. States that refuse to recognize that fact are kissing a corpse.