SF Chronicle Op-ed: Loosening rules on coal plants is bad for the economy — and the planet

It’s no longer a battle between economics and the environment. Technological innovations and consumer demand have driven down the cost of solar, wind and energy storage. In roughly two-thirds of the world, wind or solar are the lowest-cost options for increasing electricity capacity, according to the New Energy Outlook 2019 report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

What does this mean? When you compare the costs of competing energy technologies through a levelized cost, solar and wind are cheaper than coal. To this end, clean energy supports more than 3 million jobs nationwide, and that number continues to grow at a steady pace.

The scientific community recognizes the climate threats posed by the continued use of greenhouse-gas emitting fossil fuels. That alone makes the idea of burning more coal a strange one. But the transition to using clean energy also makes good business sense.

The economic case is clear, and the market shift is under way. With the rollback of the Clean Power Plan, we will only add more pollution to the air without changing the coal industry’s trajectory.

Read the full SF Chronicle op-ed here.