How will the lights stay on if coal plants shut down?

United Mine Workers of America president blasts new EPA coal regulations saying “The Navy SEALs shot Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and [EPA Administrator] Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington.”

Lawyers, Guns and Money says coal pollution kills predominantly working class people so WTF is Roberts thinking? Simple, he’s protecting mine worker jobs, period. If coal plants shut down, UMWA workers are out of jobs. And the new EPA regulations will almost certainly cause coal plants to close, or to install expensive pollution-cutting equipment which will raise prices.

A commenter at Lawyers, Guns, and Money raises raises crucial points.

Due to the lack of implemented alternatives to keep the lights on in LA and Chicago, commercial coal power–no matter how many Americans it cripples and kills during its nasty, brutish cycle from production to electric clothes dryer–is in no danger whatsoever of being regulated into submission. Let alone out of existence.

But he’s only half-right. Yes, coal kills. But the EPA says 44% of coal plants do not meet the new standards. Some will certainly close, taking gigawatts of power offline. My question is, where will the replacement power come from? No one seems to be giving much thought to this.

The Navajo Generating Station in AZ provides 2.25 GW for people and to pump Colorado River water. New EPA rules could close it.

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