STATEMENT: Clean Power PA Coalition on the Announced Closing of the Homer City Coal Units
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HARRISBURG – (April 3, 2023) – The Clean Power PA Coalition released the following statement after the announcement by Homer City Generation, L.P. of the imminent closure of the Homer City coal units:
“The closing of the Homer City Coal Generation Station, regardless of the positive impact on public health, is sad and difficult news for the dozens of workers who will lose their jobs. While the statement from the plant owner makes no mention of the workers and their families, it does, incorrectly, place some of the blame on Pennsylvania's entrance into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) for the plant closure. The truth is that this closing, like the Cheswick coal plant closing last year and the many other coal plant closings across the state in the last two decades, was not about RGGI, but brought on by larger forces, as the energy market shifted from coal production to cheaper renewables and fracked gas. In fact, this plant operated at less than 20% capacity last year and has operated at less than 50% since 2015, long before Pennsylvania even contemplated participating in RGGI.
“Sadly, this new plant closure demonstrates that lawmakers standing in the way of RGGI are giving false hope to communities like Homer City and depriving them of investment opportunities that could come from our participation.
“If Pennsylvania were realizing proceeds from its participation in RGGI, which it is not because it is being held up in court, the state could have funds available to aid Homer City plant workers and their families in their coming job transition and for the community for site redevelopment and reuse. That could still happen if RGGI is permitted to move forward.
“The owners of the Homer City plant do admit in their statement that the closure of the plant is due in part to a loss of profitability because of ‘unseasonably warm winters.’ Ironically, that is exactly why a market-based solution to climate change like RGGI, which rewards productive clean energy and invests in workers like those losing their jobs in Homer City, is the next step in Pennsylvania's energy future.”