Any day now, New York State will be coal-free. Its last coal-fired power station, at Somerset on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, will shut for good as the winter ends. Remember when Donald Trump promised to bring back coal?
Well, three years on, coal’s decline is accelerating — in the United States and worldwide. With the fuel unable to compete in most places with natural gas, and renewables, the mining and burning of coal is increasingly toxic economically as well as environmentally.
Coal mines are becoming “stranded assets” — unlikely ever to pay off the costs of their development. The risks for financiers are becoming too great. Now, even insurance companies are refusing to underwrite coal-fired power plants and coal mining ventures. And without insurance, say gleeful climate campaigners, coal is dead.
Starved of markets, eight U.S. coal mining companies filed for bankruptcy last year. They included the largest surviving private company, Murray Energy, owned by Robert Murray, a prominent Trump backer.Corona Virus has Fossil Fuels on Life Support | Climate Denial Crock of the Week