Friday, October 18, 2013

More on "clean coal"

We have heard a lot this semester about the proposed EPA restrictions on coal plants, and the WSJ (gated link) has an update for us. (See Blackboard for a copy.) A company has invested quite a lot in trying to build a "clean coal" plant in Mississippi. The plant will hopefully soon be completed, but cost overruns have continued to climb- the total cost is now projected at nearly $5 billion, a far cry from the $2.5 billion or so originally projected. Taxpayers will split these cost overruns with shareholders of the company building the plant, leaving them facing surcharges on their power bills and the state of Mississippi with some of the highest priced power for years to come. Then again, they'll be burning a locally available source in a very clean way, so while the total and average costs are high, the marginal costs should be very low. I wonder which is going to be less expensive: off shore wind power or coal gasification?

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