John Kerry: U.S. "won't have coal" by 2030
Our thought bubble via Axios' Andrew Freedman: The U.S. did not join last week to a pledge, signed by more than 40 countries, to phase out coal-fired power plants in the 2030s and 2040s. The Biden administration has a goal of decarbonizing the electricity sector by 2035, but it doesn't have a policy of ending coal use by 2030, as Kerry's comments may have implied.
- A proposed provision in the Biden administration's $1.75 trillion spending plan, which would have rewarded power producers for reducing their emissions and thereby incentivized a move away from coal, was scuttled by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
What he's saying: "By 2030 in the United States, we won’t have coal," Kerry told Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait at the conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
- "We will not have coal plants," he added.
- "We’re saying we are going to be carbon free in the power sector by 2035," Kerry said. "I think that’s leadership. I think that’s indicative of what we can do."
The big picture: Coal is long past its heyday as the dominant U.S. power source, but still provided a fifth of U.S. electricity last year and even more in 2021, per the Energy Department's data arm.
Go deeper: Why coal is such a big deal at COP26
Andrew Freedman contributed to this report from the COP26 conference in Glasgow.