Cheswick Closure in Southwestern Pennsylvania Latest Coal Victims | State

(Center Square) – Cheswick Power Plant victims of the latest conventional coal-fired power plant in Pennsylvania this month as the few remaining facilities face subsequent rising economic and environmental pressures became.

With approximately 60 employees, Cheswick has in recent years primarily functioned as a peak plant to increase production when energy demand is high enough to justify high operating costs. Pittsburgh Post Gazette.. According to the newspaper, it is one of only six operating coal-fired power plants left in the state, down from 23 in 2004.

So it was little surprise when the 565 MW facility in Springdale, in the northeastern suburbs of Pittsburgh, failed to clear PJM’s annual capacity auction. ..

“The decision to shut down the power plant is for employees and the community,” said Dave Freysinger, CEO of GenOn, which owns Cheswick and two other facilities in Ohio and Maryland and is scheduled to close. It’s always difficult. “

“These are not neglected decisions,” he said.

June 8 statementAs of September 15, he retired from Cheswick, saying, “Unfavorable economic conditions, rising costs associated with environmental compliance, inability to compete with other generations of types, and subsidized resources. He blamed the evolution of market rules to promote.

However, the Cheswick closure is the latest in a series of retirements that began almost 20 years ago as the energy market shifted from coal production to cheaper natural gas.

This is the best-shown economic transition in the western half of the state, with the boom in natural gas development and rising political pressure to curb industries that contribute to climate change, leading to an era of twilight coal power. I told you.

Ann analysis According to Science magazine, published in December, there are estimated to be about 1,400 “coal mining” jobs in the state by 2035. This is a 67% reduction compared to the 2018 estimate. According to the data, natural gas mining employment will decrease by 77% and plant employment will decrease by 70% over the same period.

Research author Emily Grubert said current policy plans for expected unemployment can prevent economic devastation that has not been visible since the collapse of the steel industry 40 years ago.

But state legislators are concerned that Governor Tom Wolf’s climate policy, an executive order to bring Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in early 2022, will force history to repeat.

“We all want clean air. Don’t get me wrong,” Indiana Rep. Jim Struzzi told the Housing Environment, Resources and Energy Commission the same day Cheswick announced his retirement. .. “But this is not the way to do it, by endangering the economy of this federal state as a whole, not just the economy of Indiana County.”

Struzzi’s comments refer to his second attempt to pass a bill that would block the state’s path to the RGGI and prevent future governors from participating in the program without legislative approval.

RGGI, a consortium of 11 states on the northeastern and mid-Atlantic coast, is auctioning emissions caps to electricity producers to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. While participating countries reinvest their earnings in programs that promote clean air and energy efficiency, state Democrats prefer an approach that also considers environmental justice policies.

modeling By 2030, Pennsylvania predicts that by 2030, it will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 225 million metric tons and create 27,000 new jobs, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Climate change is the most serious long-term threat to the planet, and this is not just my opinion. It is the opinion of the overwhelming majority of scientists around the world,” said Commission June 8, D- Havertown’s minority chairman, Greg Vitali, said. Meeting. “It is also their opinion that we need to act swiftly and cautiously to deal with it.”

Republicans argue that Wolff’s executive order violates the Constitution by implementing a carbon tax without legislative support. In addition, RGGI’s reduced emissions are eliminated by spills from non-participating border states such as Ohio and West Virginia, they say.

“The fictional line between my district and Ohio isn’t going to stop CO2 emissions,” said Republican Rep. Josh Kyle. “It’s trash. It just flattens the trash.”

Kale said it’s easy for lawmakers in the southeastern corner of the state to support RGGI and other climate change policies that “attack” coal to “be in someone else’s backyard.”

He also doubted the economic estimate of DEP with the participation of RGGI.

“The bottom line is that what people are really talking about is that jobs are being created somewhere else, probably in other countries,” he said. “They won’t be jobs in my district. They won’t be jobs in western Pennsylvania.”

Rep. Pam Snyder of D-Car Michaels said he was directly aware of the devastation that plant closures would have on the community. She represents the 50th House District of Pennsylvania in the southwestern corner of the state, and instead of remodeling the facility to comply with federal pollution regulations, in 2013 after FirstEnergy retired from two plants. About 400 residents have lost their jobs. Herald-Standard..

“I’ll be clear, I’m deeply interested in the environment, contrary to what some people believe,” she said. “But I am also interested in the socio-economic environment of my district and the people I represent here today.”

Snyder – Co-sponsor House building 637 With Struzzi-her district shared a “real border” with West Virginia and said it was home to the world’s largest coal-fired power plant. She criticized the DEP and Wolf administration for implying that public support was on their side when her members were unable to contribute to public discourse.

“There was a virtual hearing at DEP. What do you think? Attend a hearing online because there is no broadband access where coal is being mined or where people are quitting their jobs. I couldn’t do it, “she said. “It is a mistake to say that it was a fair process.”

Proponents of RGGI and other climate change policies claim that the coal industry counts days with or without programs. According to Grubert’s analysis, it is concluded that nearly three-quarters of US fossil fuel-fired power generation capacity will reach the end of normal lifespan by 2035. DEP Estimate The “limited” coal facility, which is expected to operate in Pennsylvania after 2025, is expected to add new natural gas over the next decade.

Pennsylvania Coal Alliance with Economic Impact report Announced in 2019, the industry supports approximately 18,000 direct and indirect jobs and is an important part of the state’s role as the third largest electricity producer in the United States after Texas and Florida. It states that there is.

Cheswick Closure in Southwestern Pennsylvania Latest Coal Victims | State

Source link Cheswick Closure in Southwestern Pennsylvania Latest Coal Victims | State

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