What the Good Coal Guys Can Teach the Dirty Coal Guys

BY ON June 1, 2011

The Wall Street Journal ran a surprising letter back in December, signed by nine CEOs of coal-powered electric plants, who said “We’re okay with the EPA’s new air-quality regulations.”

They knew the regs were coming; they’ve already invested in “modern air-pollution control technologies and cleaner and more efficient power plants.”  The letter addresses plants that will have to close because of the regulations: “The units retiring are generally small, old and inefficient. These retirements are long overdue. Contrary to the claims that the EPA’s agenda will have negative economic consequences, our companies’ experience complying with air quality regulations demonstrates that reulgations can yield important economic benefits, including job creation, while maintaining reliability.” Emphasis added. Can we shout it out?

In December, before the EPA fight heated up, this letter didn’t seem half as heroic as it does now. So, given that newspapers have a shelf life of a day, and the Internet a minute, it is worth plastering this letter in front of everyone all over again.

And the Good Coal Guys gave me an idea.

Why don’t the Dirty Coal Powered Plant Owners ask their brethren for help? After all, isn’t that what were taught to do when we didn’t get the homework? Or flunked the quiz?  Raise hands, and flag the teacher!

To all those Dirty-Coal-But-Aw-Shucks-What-Difference-Do-A-Bit-o-Poison-Make Fellers who neglected to take notes in Econ 101, who skipped Health (Pass/Fail), who didn’t pay attention during Morality and Justice 205, and who flunked Engineering 504: Get help. Fast.

Let the forward-thinking, strategically nimble, responsible, clean(er) coal-powered utilities clue you in. Let them show you how you can still make tons-o-money.

Frankly, the negligent, irresponsible, whining, attitude of Dirty Coal is harming the reputation of ALL coal-powered utilities. Coal is giving itself a big black eye. And in the long run, that’s not too smart, either.

TOPICS: Coal, Economics, Mercury Poisoning, Politics, Pollution