Two weeks ago, the coal industry got a bit of good news when former Texas governor and current U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry suggested that failing coal plants be subsidized by United States taxpayers.
But coal's reprieve from bad news was short-lived, as last week the energy giant Luminant announced it would shut down three coal-fired power plants early next year.
As The Dallas Morning News reports, these three coal plants currently account for almost 1/8th of Texas’s coal-power capacity. These three plants alone have the capacity to power nearly 2.1 million Texas homes. But Luminant said the plants have become unprofitable in recent years, largely due to the affordability of natural gas and a competitive energy market driven by wind and solar technologies.
Curt Morgan, president of Luminant’s parent company, said “the long-term economic viability of these plants has been in question for some time.”