Today’s Coal Power Isn’t the Same as Yesterday’s

The Big Jake dragline excavator works the BNI Coal lignite mine Wednesday, May 13, near Center, N.D. (Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor)

MINOT, N.D. — There are two myths about coal that need be destroyed.

The first is that the economics of coal don’t work anymore. This is true only insofar as lobbyists promoting the energy industry have been successful in politicizing the energy markets.

Coal is asked to compete with energy sources like wind and solar which are so heavily subsidized their power can be priced below cost, even though those intermittent sources of energy really shouldn’t be in the same category as baseload power from sources like coal.

Can you imagine running a grocery store when your competitors can sell bread and milk cheaper than you because they get checks from the government?

It’s not the market.

It’s politics.

The other myth is that coal power is old and busted technology. As if coal plants today are the same smoke-belching monstrosities of the 19th century.

They are not.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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