Power Plant Closures Will Cost American Towns Jobs and Taxes

December 20, 2011 - 5:10 AM
EPA Mercury Rule

FILE - This July 27, 2010 file photo shows one of the stacks at the Four Corners Power Plant, operated by Arizona Public Service on tribal land near Fruitland, N.M. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is slated to release rules aimed at reducing mercury pollution from large coal-fired power plants. The new standards factored into a plan by APS to shutter three generators at Four Corners. (AP Photo/Paul Foy, file)

An Associated Press analysis has found more than 32 mostly coal-fired power plants in a dozen states will be forced to close — and others are at risk — because of new federal air pollution regulations taking effect in 2014-2015.

And the impact is greatest in the Midwest and coal belt states such as Virginia and West Virginia, where dozens of units are likely to shut down.

Take the coal-fired plant in Glen Lyn, Va., operating for more than 90 years. It has generated nearly a quarter of the revenue in the town's $1 million budget and 44 jobs will be lost.

The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated 14.7 gigawatts — enough power for more than 11 million households — will be retired under new rules though no lights will go dark.