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Democrats' Energy Plan Will Kill US Coal by 2030, Miners Say



September 14, 2021 - A plan to push utilities to use more clean energy could eliminate coal from the US power grid by the end of the decade, according to a trade group that represents coal miners.

The Clean Electricity Performance Program proposed by House Democrats authorizes $150-billion in incentives for utilities that deliver at least 4% more clean energy to customers. Those that don’t will have to pay a penalty to the US Energy Department.

The programme is a key part of President Joe Biden’s signature climate goal of decarbonising the electric grid by 2035. For the coal industry, the carrot-and-stick approach is a serious threat, according to America’s Power, which represents miners including Peabody Energy and Consol Energy.

“The CEPP would eliminate coal-fired electricity by 2030, if not sooner,” Michelle Bloodworth, the group’s CEO wrote in a letter on Monday to leaders of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce. It would also “eliminate or at least drastically curtail the use of natural gas to generate electricity.”

The trade group said that US utilities are already shifting away from fossil fuels, but pushing for such a rapid transition requires rapid adoption of more wind and solar energy, potentially threatening the stability of the power grid.