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Utah Supreme Court blocks coal plant

You can put a fork in a gigantic new coal fired power plant proposed for rural Sugard, Utah, because it’s done. Yesterday the Utah Supreme Court struck a major blow against the plant by ordering it to start back at square one in the pollution permit application process.

It’s because trying to do “clean coal” (a misnomer if there ever was one) was just too darned expensive and complicated for the developers, so their plan was to do it the dirty old way. But the Utah Supremes said no.

FERC Chair: US may never need new coal or nuclear plants

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chair Jon Wellinghoff says forget about coal and nuclear power, they’re too expensive, renewable power is what we need.

Wellinghoff said renewables like wind, solar and biomass will provide enough energy to meet baseload capacity and future energy demands. Nuclear and coal plants are too expensive, he added.

“I think baseload capacity is going to become an anachronism,” he said. “Baseload capacity really used to only mean in an economic dispatch, which you dispatch first, what would be the cheapest thing to do. Well, ultimately wind’s going to be the cheapest thing to do, so you’ll dispatch that first.”

He added, “People talk about, ‘Oh, we need baseload.’ It’s like people saying we need more computing power, we need mainframes. We don’t need mainframes, we have distributed computing.”

How nice to have a believer in science as well as a visionary in an important government role for energy again.

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