Last week, the Texas utility Luminant (owned by Vistra Energy) announced the retirement of two coal plants — Sandow Power Plant and Big Brown Power Plant — by early 2018. The reasoning was simple, and familiar: They just can’t compete with cheap natural gas and renewables.Unlike the rest of the country, Texas has an entirely free market in energy – no subsidies, hardly any regulation of price. In Texas, wind power will surpass coal power some time around January.
With that announcement, a milestone was reached: More than half of the total 2010 US coal fleet has retired or set a firm retirement date.
For some important issues, who wins the election matters a lot. For others, hardly at all.