Editorial: Though Wolverine plant won’t happen, coal not going away

It’s official – there will be no coal-fired energy plant in Rogers City.

Wolverine Power Cooperative officials made that announcement this week. The news wasn’t surprising, as those who supported the plant gave up believing it ever would be built months ago.

As with any news, it was received in the community with mixed feelings. Many were concerned with the environmental questions that came with burning coal, while others looked at the plant as an economic “shot in the arm” for a region desperately in need of one.

Ultimately, it was new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, rules and regulations that made further pursuit of the plant unfeasible.

In the end, who can blame a company for turning away from a project where the ever-changing regulations would make burning coal a gamble at best.

We can accept that.

However, for those who will be tempted to write off coal as a feasible future source of fuel, we would caution them not to jump to that conclusion yet. While coal never will be a favorable source of fuel with this presidential administration, it will again gain favor across the country. It may not be tomorrow, but it will again happen.

When it does energy companies will consider it, and the equipment needed to burn it cleanly, a wise and prudent investment – much like natural gas is today.

It will be too late for Rogers City, but there will be another Rogers City right around the corner.