EPA plan is short-term boost, no solution for industry decline
The Trump’s administration’s proposal to relax regulations on carbon emissions is welcome news in coal producing states like Wyoming, even as people in the industry acknowledge its impact would be limited.
“Coal fired power plants are a necessity to keep the… electricity grid stable in America,” says Tom Stalcup, plant manager at the Dry Fork Station coal-fired power plant in Gillette. Large open-pit mines dot the plant’s perimeter, and the light-blue building rumbles as electricity flows to states across the West.
Like many here — where the coal industry produces nearly a quarter of the state’s income — Stalcup worried the Obama-era Clean Power Plan would have forced plants to close. It set targets for states to reduce carbon emissions, and aimed to remake the power grid with a large-scale shift away from coal to renewable power like wind and solar. Two dozen states, including Wyoming, challenged the Clean Power Plan as exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority, and a court held up the rule before it could take effect.