The Institute for Energy Research projected that coal plants in Lansing, Litchfield and Holland would “likely” be shut down due to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations by 2016. The three Michigan plants were part of a nationwide look at coal plants expected to be impacted by new regulations recently enacted or proposed by the EPA.
Ten percent of the country’s coal energy capacity is expected to go offline by 2016, according to the Institute for Energy Research.
The country gets 60 percent and Michigan gets 66 percent of energy from coal-fired power plants, according to Russ Harding, senior environmental policy analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Harding said new and proposed EPA regulations could lead to brownouts and interruptions of power once coal plants start shutting down.
Recent EPA regulations on carbon dioxide and mercury, as well as a proposed regulation on fly ash, will start shutting down plants within four years as the cost becomes too much to meet the new standards, Harding said.
“A lot of the older plants will shut down because it won’t be cost effective to put all the controls in place,” Harding said. “It will also discourage any construction of any new coal-fired power plants.”
The EPA didn't respond to emails seeking a response for this story.