Sinking coal

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid took a lot of grief, particularly in White Pine County, for torpedoing on environmental grounds three coal-fired power plants slated for eastern Nevada. Although he has loaded the area down with federal largesse, including a national park, the power plant issue cost him votes. Republican Sharron Angle beat him in White Pine by 3 to 1.

But it has become increasingly apparent that the plants would never have been built, anyway.

“Coal is a dead man walking,” Deutsche Bank exec Kevin Parker told the Washington Post last week. “Banks won’t finance them. Insurance companies won’t insure them. The EPA is coming after them. … And the economics to make it clean don’t work.”

Last year, according to the Sierra Club, plans for 38 new coal plants were dropped and plans to mothball 48 older plants were announced.