coal power plants

Pixabay / Creative Commons

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.

Greg Goebel / Wikimedia Commons

A new rule enacted by Donald Trump’s EPA will allow coal plants to increase the amount of pollution they pump into the atmosphere, reports The Texas Observer.

In fact, the new rule will allow coal power plants to emit almost twice as much sulfur dioxide as the previous restrictions instituted by the Obama Administration.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Last week, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced a federal plan to subsidize coal and nuclear plants, reports Texas Monthly.

The move surprised many observers in the energy community, as the former Texas Governor had made a name for himself in the Lone Star State as a champion of renewable energy, especially wind power.

Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

The future of coal as a power source in Colorado is waning quickly, reports The Denver Post.

Over the past decade, Xcel Energy Colorado has shuttered a number of coal plants, and the utility behemoth is now arguing for shutting down two coal-burning facilities in Pueblo 10 years ahead of schedule.

Environmental regulations and commitments to address global warming are certainly not on terra firma. The Trump administration has vowed to ease emissions controls for power plants and to get coal miners back to work.

The Jeffrey Energy Center, in St. Mary’s, Kansas, near Topeka, is one such coal-fired power plant.

Brookings Institution / The Rural Blog

Despite Republican efforts to bring back coal as a fuel source, a new report by the Brookings Institution says coal-fired power plants will continue to close despite the arrival of the Trump administration.

As The Rural Blog reports, climate-change deniers such as Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt--who has been tapped to head the EPA--have been vehemently opposed to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. They’ve vowed to end what they call the “war on coal.”

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s budget gap next year could amount to well over half a billion dollars.

To plug the hole, lawmakers in Oklahoma City are discussing selling some of the state’s power plants.

As StateImpact Oklahoma reports, the Sooner State has considered the idea of selling the Grand River Dam Authority to make up for the budget shortfall. The plan would involve selling some of Oklahoma’s hydroelectric dams, as well as a coal-fired plant.

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Oklahoma is one of several states challenging President Barack Obama's plan that would force coal plants to reduce emissions,

Thomas Bougher / Texas Tribune

When Texas industrial plants break down or close for maintenance, they often spew tons of pollutants into the atmosphere. And they aren’t being properly held accountable, reports The Texas Tribune. A new report has found that 679 facilities from the Gulf of Mexico to West Texas emitted more than 68 million pounds of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, benzene and other toxic substances last year.

Friday marked the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, and our planet has come a long way since the inaugural holiday. But there have been struggles, too, notes The Kansas City Star. Earth Day began in 1970 in response to a 1969 massive oil spill near Santa Barbara, Calif.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

While the nation’s political realm reels from the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the demise of the conservative icon could be good news for those concerned about climate change. Slate notes that Scalia’s death came just days after the high court blocked the implementation of the Clean Power Plan. The plan is Obama’s centerpiece climate legislation.

Huffington Post UK

Overuse of antipsychotic drugs in some Kansas nursing homes endangering patients
Powerful antipsychotic drugs are used too much and inappropriately to manage the behavior of elders with dementia in under-staffed care facilities, according to reporting by the Kansas Health Institute. Kansas ranks 47th worse for use of these drugs. The drugs carry serious side-effects, and reports say as many as 1 in 12 elders taking antipsychotics die from use of the drugs for dementia.

Andrea Parker / Cory Maluski / The Texas Tribune

President Obama instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to revise greenhouse gas limits for existing power plants.  The suggested changes are to be proposed by June 2015, and Texas regulators have already weighed in according to The Texas Tribune.