Sep 5, 2018

Utilities stay cool to coal despite Trump

Coal-fired power plant in Castle Dale, Utah. Photo: George Frey via Getty Images

The Washington Examiner reports that key utilities, including Duke Energy and American Electric Power, aren't looking to extend the lives of their coal-fired power plants despite Trump administration moves to help keep them running.

Why it matters: Their piece gets several utility powerhouses on the record about their plans and signals the uphill climb facing the White House as it tries to revive the fortunes — or even substantially slow the decline — of the once-dominant fuel.

  • EPA had floated the proposal recently to replace a much more sweeping Obama-era carbon emissions rule that was frozen by the courts.

What they're saying, per the Examiner:

"[N]o utilities contacted by the Washington Examiner said they would commit to improving their coal plants, or re-evaluate planned coal plant retirements because of the Trump administration's new rule, known as Affordable Clean Energy, or ACE. And none of them have plans to build new coal plants."

Yes, but: The story adds to reports showing that despite the overall trend, the proposal could affect some power companies' decisions on the future of their coal plants. The Examiner writes:

"Trump EPA’s coal plan could be most beneficial for smaller utilities, like co-ops that provide energy to rural consumers."

The intrigue: The administration's efforts to boost coal go beyond the U.S. power sector. S&P Global Market Intelligence looks at an upcoming report by an industry-led group of DOE advisers on ways to bolster exports.

Go deeper: The limits of Trump's new coal move.

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Cruise ship evacuations: More Americans test positive for coronavirus

A bus carrying American citizens from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship arrives at the U.S. government-chartered aircraft that is taking them back to the United States while authorities wear protective suits look on at Haneda airport in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Another 14 passengers tested positive for the novel coronavirus during their evacuation from the Diamond Princess cruise ship before being flown in a "specialist containment" area of the plane to the United States, per a Trump administration statement early Monday.

Details: Over 40 Americans who had been on the ship had previously been confirmed as infected and will remain in Japanese hospitals for treatment, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "Face the Nation" Sunday. The rest were evacuated, and these latest cases were among them. All evacuees will undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival later Monday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

GM to exit Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

GM's Holden brand is popular among racing fans down under, and it's been a regular fixture at events like the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar Race in Australia. Photo: Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

General Motors is retiring its Holden brand from sales in Australia and New Zealand and winding down operations in the two countries and Thailand by 2021, the company confirmed in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The Holden brand has been in Australia and New Zealand for 160 years, per a GM statement issued in Australia. It is beloved by many motor racing fans down under. Holden produced Australia's first wholly locally made car in 1948.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

In photos: Deadly Storm Dennis lashes U.K., Ireland and western France

A family is rescued from a property in Nantgarw, Wales, on Sunday. The storm comes a week after the U.K. was battered by storm Ciara, which killed two people, per the BBC. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Storm Dennis continued to pummel parts of England, Wales and Ireland over Sunday night with heavy rain after battering Northern Ireland and Scotland, per the official British weather agency the Met Office.

Why it matters: It's the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across the U.K., the Washington Post notes. Police in Wales confirmed Sunday they found the body of a man who fell into a river as the storm lashed Ystradgynlais.

See photosArrow4 hours ago - World