Erika Johnsen

At the close of 2012, the EPA dictated a politically calculated--oops, I mean, for the sake of the public welfare, issued a--huge new stack of emissions regulations aiming to force coal-fired power plant operators to choose between installing pollution control equipment, switching to cleaner natural gas, or shutting down their plants. Which is good, because in 2008, President Obama did promise to bankrupt the coal industry... so, that's at least one promise he's kept, right?

Edison International (EIX) plans to shut down at least two aging coal-fired power plants in what could be a growing wave of retirements as low natural-gas and electricity prices and stricter pollution rules make many of these facilities unprofitable.

Edison will shut down its two Chicago coal-fired power plants -- one this year and one by 2014 -- rather than install pollution-control equipment to comply with state pollution limits, the company said. Edison said it also would likely shut down a third coal plant in Waukegan, Ill., and possibly others. ...

Companies are increasingly announcing plans to shut down aging coal plants as the cost of installing pollution-control equipment can exceed the value of the plant.

The Sierra Club estimates that these regulations are preventing a lot of premature deaths (I'm not sure how they think they know that), but Sen. Pat Toomey is not pleased:

But Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, said that as many as 315 people could lose their jobs.

"I am dismayed by the news that hundreds of Pennsylvanians will lose their jobs because of this impending wave of federal regulations. While I fully support sensible, existing power plant regulations to protect our air, the cumulative effect of these new rules, which are some of the costliest in the EPA's history, is overwhelming."

And while the Obama administration can certainly hope and dream that the ensuing energy vacuum will be filled by the bounteous sources of wind, solar, and other greenie endeavors, you can bet that more 'necessarily skyrocketing' electricity prices are what's for dinner.


Erika Johnsen

Erika Johnsen is a Web Editor for Townhall.com and Townhall Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @erikajohnsen.