Nearly one-third of American gas-fired power plants are unprofitable and utilities that invest in new gas generation stand to lose $24 billion, according to a new report. The findings, published by the London-based Carbon Tracker Initiative, detail how some new plants may be profitable, but “we estimate that the size of these profits will be insufficient to recover original investment,” Jonathan Sims, a senior analyst at Carbon Tracker and co-author of the report, told E&E.
The report comes as Congress considers including a methane fee in the major climate and social infrastructure bill currently being negotiated. Such a fee could create 20,000 jobs and add $250 billion to US GDP by 2050, and would help reduce emissions of the potent heat-trapping gas. West Virginia Senator, and coal firm beneficiary, Joe Manchin reportedly opposes the measure. EPA is also expected to release new rules to cut methane pollution from oil and gas extraction in the coming days. (Utilities’ gas risks: E&E $; Methane fee: Forbes, Gizmodo, E&E News, Politico Pro $; Methane rule: E&E News)