Posted on: May 26, 2020
Coal Creek Station is a coal-fired power plant served by the Falkirk Mine in Underwood, North Dakota and it is being threatened to shut down in two years if not sold to another power producer. This is a mine mouth operation, meaning the mine would likely be shut down with the power plant.
The reason the owner has given for shutting down Coal Creek Station is not because they are not meeting budget, in fact according to public record, the company has been having several GREAT years. The reason for the shutdown is a perceived “carbon risk” for power plants that burn coal because of an environmental movement to eliminate the use of this precious resource that provides necessary reliable power. The foundation for this movement is the excess funding of renewable energy with United States citizens’ tax dollars, a subsidy for wind called the Production Tax Credit (PTC).
The PTC was first enacted in 1992 and has been extended 12 times. The latest extension allows facilities that begin construction in 2020 to be eligible. Previously, construction had to start in 2019. There is a high likelihood the credit could be extended again unless we take action. The extension, along with “Safe Harbor” rules of the IRS (which allow the wind developer to put a relatively small percentage of investment in the current year to hold the credit for another 4 years) give the wind developers another 14 years of credit with taxpayer money. The outcome is coal plant operators are switching to subsidized and unreliable wind (and solar) power. We, the taxpayers, are subsidizing wind and solar and at the same time, LOSING OUR JOBS!
All coal mine and power plant workers, and those supporting our industry, should be aware switching to subsidized wind power will ultimately and completely shut down coal industry. This is a “zero sum game” meaning this won’t stop until coal -fired power and jobs associated with them are gone.
The overextended and unfair Production Tax Credit for wind needs to stop. Unfortunately, Republican senators have asked the Treasury Department to help the renewable energy sector by supporting this extension as well. CALL your elected officials to BUILD A COALITION and finally TERMINATE the Production Tax Credit and Safe Harbor provisions for wind, and then SPREAD THE WORD like your job depends on it. BECAUSE IT DOES! You won’t be sending any coal over the head pulley if you don’t stop the PTC for wind.
The easy to use link below will give you the phone numbers to call YOUR elected officials. https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials/