Date: October 29, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Retirements of older units, retrofits of existing units with pollution controls, and the construction of some new coal-fueled units are expected to significantly change the coal-fueled electricity generating fleet, making it capable of emitting lower levels of pollutants than the current fleet but reducing its future electricity generating capacity. Two broad trends are affecting power companies' decisions related to coal-fueled generating units--recent environmental regulations and changing market conditions, such as the recent decrease in the price of natural gas. Regarding retirements, forecasts GAO reviewed based on current policies project that power companies may retire 15 to 24 percent of coal-fueled generating capacity by 2035--an amount consistent with GAO's analysis. GAO's statistical analysis, examining data on power companies that have announced plans to retire coal-fueled units, found that these power companies are more likely to retire units that are older, smaller, and more polluting. For example, the units companies plan to retire emitted an average of twice as much sulfur dioxide per unit of fuel used in 2011 as units that companies do not plan to retire. Based on the characteristics of the units companies plan to ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department