Nick Akins

Article, Climate, Electricity

Coal comeback unlikely after Paris climate pact withdrawal: utility CEO

From USA TODAY President Trump once again promised to revive the U.S. coal industry when he announced his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. But that reversal seems as unlikely as ever as electric power producers, the biggest consumers of coal in the U.S., continue to shift to natural gas and renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. In 2016, natural gas became the leading fuel for U.S. electricity generation for the first time, responsible for 33.8% of the output, compared with 30.4% for coal, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Nick Akins, the CEO of American Electric Power, one of the largest utilities in the U.S., says the preference for gas, renewables and energy efficiency, will only grow in response to increasing demands from shareholders and customers for cleaner energy, regardless of changes in…

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Article, Climate, Energy, Government and Politics

Coal’s decline may continue even under Trump

During his campaign for the White House, President-elect Donald Trump promised to eliminate regulations that target coal-fired power plants, one of the primary causes of carbon emissions responsible for climate change. For Trump, a climate-change skeptic, getting rid of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which would curb carbon emissions from power plants by 32% by 2030, would give a boost to the declining U.S. coal industry and its decimated workforce across Appalachia. Even if the next president were to succeed, he would probably not reverse a years-long movement away from coal in the U.S. electric power industry, the biggest consumer of the black rock, according to the head of one of the nation’s leading electric utilities. (Read more)

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