Is the stunning private-equity takeover of TXU, with its retreat from building 11 coal-fired power plants, the beginning of the end for new coal plants in America? Or is this a unique situation that won’t have repercussions elsewhere? That’s the topic of today’s CNNMoney column. Here’s how it begins:
These are troubling times for any company trying to build a coal-fired power plants – and more than 150 of them are being planned across America.
Opposition is mounting to coal plants because they contribute to global warming. The plants are getting harder to build because activist groups try to stop them, causing delays that raise operating costs. And investors are paying attention. Federal regulation of carbon emissions, which is being actively considered by Congress, could also make burning coal more expensive.
“Wall Street is every day becoming more aware of the risks of building new coal plants – both the carbon-cost risks and the reputation risks,” says Dan Bakal, director of electric power programs for CERES, a coalition of environmental groups and institutional investors.
You can read the rest of the column here.