Houston Matters

Examining The Future Of Coal In Texas And Elsewhere

What’s the future of coal now that the Trump administration is pulling out of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan?


On Monday (Oct. 9, 2017) EPA Chief Scott Pruitt announced the Trump administration will end an Obama-era clean power plan designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Pruitt says the rule hurt coal-fired plants, and likened it to "[declaring] war on [that] sector of our economy."

Back in February of this year, after Public Citizen released a report on two Texas coal plants (Monticello and Big Brown) on the verge of retirement and how their closure would affect the state's energy grid (short answer: it won't). We explored the future of coal, and its use as an energy resource here in Texas, across the United States and abroad.

We listen back to our conversations with Tom Smith, director of Public Citizen's Texas office, and Peter Hartley, from Rice University.