Would Eminent Domain of Coal Plants Ever Work?

In an opinion editorial in The Washington Post, Barney Gorin notes that gas-created electricity provides for thirty-four percent of our energy generation.

Could the energy source be replaced? Yes. Would it be a very expensive proposition to simply close coal plants, and even more emphatic “yes.”

The reality is that simply acquiring coal plants through the eminent domain process in order to close a coal plant is not a satisfactory result. If the plants are to be closed, it is more likely premised upon the safety issues and utilization of the police power.

“In his June 4 op-ed, “Here’s how we leave coal behind,” Stephen L. Kass told us that eminent domain is a fine way to shut down coal companies. All the government has to do is take the land and pay “fair, market-based compensation.”

What a lovely, Trumpian solution. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is sure to approve. It would be just the precedent he would like to cite against the next obstinate widow like Vera Coking when he tried to take her home for only a quarter of an earlier offer.

Barney Gorin, Gaithersburg

How would Stephen L. Kass replace the 34 percent of the electricity generated in this country by coal-fired plants over a 10-year period? Many of them can be, and some are being, converted to natural gas, but not all. And some are being equipped with scrubbers. But many are not fit for either of those “fixes” because of design or age and will be left to run out their useful lives while replacement plants are built.”

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