The problem that supporters of the proposed 600-megawatt plant never recognized was this: Planet Earth is not a perfect place to build a coal plant. Coal is too dirty; it has become too expensive to mine, ship, and burn; and it is the number-one source of climate-changing carbon emissions. If the world hopes to escape the worst effects of airborne toxins and global warming, it must stop burning the stuff-the quicker the better. So Wolverine’s cancellation of its so-called “Clean Energy Venture” puts the firm in step with the rest of the country and the world.
In a quick and quiet decision, Michigan environmental regulators have given Wolverine Power Cooperative another year to break ground on its long-delayed, highly controversial Rogers City coal plant. But stricter coal plant emission limits, soaring coal-power costs, cheap natural gas, and falling demand for electricity could still doom the 600-megawatt project.