Coal plant retirements undercut Trump bailout plans FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Technica:President Trump has publicly made quite a few comments about bringing coal jobs back, but his verbiage isn’t making much of a dent in the declining coal industry. In fact, a very large number of American coal power plants will be closing in 2018. “The real story I believe is in coal retirements. [T]he fundamentals of the economics of coal have gotten worse, with costs going up, while the competition for coal — that is, gas, wind and solar — has all gotten cheaper,” said Bruce Hamilton, a director at Navigant.Natural gas costs less than coal, solar power is at its most affordable, wind power can be more affordable than new coal, and energy storage is emerging to support renewables.“Coal jobs aren’t coming back, due to market forces, not due to regulation. Natural gas is cheaper and more plentiful,” explained James Van Nostrand, director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development at West Virginia University College of Law.To make matters worse, the President seems to be very uninformed about the coal industry. “Trump claims West Virginia is exporting “clean coal” to China. But this is wrong for two reasons. One, in 2015 and 2016, West Virginia exported virtually no coal to China. Two, there is no such thing as “clean coal.”More: Coal power plants retiring quickly during Trump administration
Republicans still have a distinct advantage since winning two dozen chambers in the 2010 election cycle, double the average number of chambers that flip every two years, according to Mr. Storey. Before Tuesday’s election, Republicans controlled about three-fifths of all 98 partisan legislative chambers. If no other chambers flip as new results come in, that Republican dominance will not change. “It was a huge night for state Republicans,” said David Abrams, deputy executive director of the Republican State Leadership Committee, which focuses on electing Republicans to state offices. “Democrats spent hundreds of millions of dollars to flip state chambers. So far, they don’t have a damn thing to show for it.”In all, about 80 percent of the nation’s 7,383 state legislative seats were up for grabs.- Advertisement – Democrats failed to take control of the Texas House from Republicans, a prize that had seemed within reach. They also lost the battle for North Carolina’s House and Senate, chambers they had set their sights on after years of Republican control. And they failed to flip the Iowa House, according to the N.C.S.L. Results for the Pennsylvania and Michigan Houses were still pending.Statehouses are important because they are the places where issues like abortion, guns and police reform get decided. They are particularly critical this year because of a process known as redistricting: the redrawing of state and national electoral maps after the decennial census. While some states use nonpartisan or bipartisan commissions to draw these maps, the process in most states is controlled by the majority party in the state legislature. The most recent census is being finalized, and data will be sent to the states for redistricting beginning next year. – Advertisement – The Democrats did not make much progress in the handful of governor’s races either. In Montana, the Republican, Greg Gianforte won against Mike Cooney, a Democrat, who was the lieutenant governor of the state. The state’s governor, Steve Bullock, a Democrat, ran for U.S. Senate and lost to the Republican incumbent, Steve Daines. The outcome in Montana ends more than 16 years of Democratic leadership in a state that usually votes for Republicans for president. – Advertisement –
MASON CITY — A plea change hearing has been scheduled for a Mason City woman charged with insurance fraud and theft.34-year-old Amber Griffin was charged with four counts of insurance fraud by presenting false information and one count of second-degree theft after an investigation by the Iowa Insurance Division’s Fraud Bureau.The bureau says the charges stem from an investigation that started back in February of last year as Griffin allegedly submitted multiple fraudulent insurance claims to her insurance company seeking reimbursement through her insurance policy.Griffin’s trial was scheduled to start next week, but online court records show that Judge Karen Salic on Tuesday approved the scheduling of a plea change hearing on March 20th.