Trump’s Coal Man Is Racing Against the Clock to Bail Out Plants



Obama isn’t the only reason, or even the chief reason coal country went south. Fracking technology and cheap natural gas just made coal less viable. That is, the market killed coal to a very large degree. And I thought we had learned that bailing out dying industries wasn’t a good idea.

(From Bloomberg)

President Donald Trump is on the verge of subsidizing coal plants that would otherwise be driven out of business by cheaper, cleaner natural gas.

A plan that would leave consumers footing a potential multibillion-dollar bill is expected Dec. 11, and Trump couldn’t have chosen a more enthusiastic person to get it done: Neil Chatterjee, a Republican from coal country, who has spent years brokering seemingly impossible deals for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Now he’s cutting the biggest deal of his career — and he’s running out of time to do it…

…Trump made the rebirth of coal, unpopular because of its expense and its contribution to climate change, a central theme of his 2016 campaign. Since then, coal magnate Robert Murray has appealed directly to the president to halt the wave of coal-plant retirements. Murray said that without immediate government intervention, power generator FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. will be forced into bankruptcy, followed by his own company, Murray Energy Corp. Some other energy-generating companies oppose the payments.

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