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Even in Coal Country, Trump Aid Won’t Keep Power Plant Open

Aug 24, 2018, by Christopher Martin

Vistra Energy Corp. plans to close another money-losing coal plant this year despite the Trump administration’s efforts to prop up the ailing fossil-fuel industry.

This one is a 51-megawatt coal plant in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, where anthracite, or “hard” coal, was discovered in the 18th Century. Vistra’s Luminant unit notified grid operator PJM Interconnection LLC of its plans to close the Northeastern Power plant in McAdoo in late 2018, according to a statement Friday. The plant began operating in 1989.

Vistra retired three much larger coal plants in Texas earlier this year because they couldn’t compete with cheaper natural gas and wind energy, eliminating about 4 gigawatts from that market. U.S. coal production has been flat since President Donald Trump took office as power plants continue to close. The Trump administration is trying to support coal use by reducing industry and environmental regulations.

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