Out with the Old and in with the New: Coal Power Plants going Extinct

Austin Priebe (TC)'s picture

With much criticism surrounding the negative effects of coal mines and coal-fired power plants, DTE has recently committed to reducing 80% of their current carbon emissions by 2050. The first step they have made in working towards this goal was opting to close three coal-fired power plants by 2023. While this is a win for the environment, many don’t understand the impacts it has on families who rely on income from working in the mines.

This raises a lot of questions on which stakeholder should take priority and how to transition coal miners to being employed in the natural gas business, which is what DTE is committing to once retiring the coal mines. It also raises questions legislative questions being such a big transition in the energy industry. That being said, I look forward to hearing your thoughts to the following questions:

  • How do environmentalists and the government ensure the environment is viewed as a stakeholder?
  • Does the government owe anything to the coal miners who were put out of a job because of the increased regulation on coal-fired power plants? If so, what does the government owe to those workers?
  • What future concerns should the government be thinking about during the rise of natural gas energy?
  • Should the government increase incentives toward renewable energy during this transition period? If so, what incentives should be given?