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Ben asks:
Why would South Carolina utilities keep pouring billions of dollars in a new nuclear plant when they can keep running old coal plants indefinitely?
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I don't know what you mean by "indefinitely" in that sentence? According to my on-line dictionary, Indefinitely means: unclear, vague, lacking precise limits. In other words, "not definite".

That's kinda the point. Utilities can see there is little future in coal, despite the rhetoric from Mr. Trump. They knew the pressures that the Obama administration was putting on coal, and it is quite likely any future Democratic administration will put those pressures back on. Trump isn't going to be president forever, despite what those idiot conspiracy theorists on MSNBC and CNN might say. Trump may leave office in January 2021 or 2025, but he will be gone.

A Carolina utility CEO or Board of Directors with a long range time horizon is not going to shut down a nuclear construction project, that they have already spent several $ billion on, just so they can operate some coal plants for a few more years with lax regulation from one administration. However, a utility CEO that is only concerned with his company's stock performance in the present quarter, may decide to shut down a problematic construction project so he can keep his company's dividend or stock price up in the short term. I don't know what the SCANA officials were thinking when they cancelled Summer 2 & 3. I'm not psychic.

If Trump is trying to save the coal industry, he is doing a crappy job of it. Electricity generation from coal was trending down under Obama, and is continuing to go down under Trump. From the latest EIA monthly report (note: a new report is due Monday, 8/26, so these numbers will change somewhat as the June numbers are added.)

Year-to-Date, Electricity Generation from Coal, through May.

2017- 465,631 GWh
2018- 440,167
2019- 391,567

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.ph...

Coal plants continue to announce closures.
https://www.sj-r.com/news/20190821/power-plants-in-coffeen-a...

I don't think the Summer nuclear project was cancelled just because the South Carolina utilities wanted to keep burning coal for Donald Trump. I think their financial analysis was more complicated than that. I certainly wish they had continued to keep building. In the long run, a nuclear plant that operates for 60 or 80 years is a good asset to have.
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Ben also says:
I perceive a contradiction in your heavy boosterism of nuclear paired with your professed lack of faith in government action.

Its not that I lack faith in any government action. I have lack of faith in any government headed by Bernie Sanders. Don't get me wrong. I did not vote for Trump in 2016 and have no plans to vote for him next year. But I surely won't be supporting any of these leading Dems, including that despicable liar Joe Biden.

- Pete
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