There's a Chance Trump's Power Bailout Actually Cuts Emissions

(Bloomberg) -- One -- potentially unintended -- consequence of the Trump administration’s coal and nuclear bailout plan: Greenhouse-gas emissions could drop.

According to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report issued Tuesday, coal-fired plants may not actually run more even if the Trump administration creates capacity payments for them. Rewarding reactors with the same, however, would probably lead to more nuclear production and could displace millions of tons of carbon dioxide a year, BNEF analyst William Nelson said in the report.

Capacity payments would keep coal plants online for backup purposes, Nelson said, but wouldn’t necessarily be enough to encourage them to burn more coal. (That’s a potentially bearish case for Trump’s coal-mining supporters like Murray Energy Corp. chief executive officer Bob Murray.) Reactors would produce more electricity because they have such low short-run costs that they typically run when they’re available, Nelson said.

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