Coal is facing low cost competition from natural gas. The gas industry is over supplied and new gas plants are being built while the US government is increasing regulatory pressure to shut down dirty coal plants. This is both a planned process and the result of regular old capitalism. And, the argument that natural gas is a “bridge fuel” to get the US off of coal is one of the main selling points of the natural gas industry.
The US federal wind tax credit is expiring soon. Some people are putting a lot of pressure on killing the credit and their reason for doing so is that an energy company should be able to survive without a payout from the government. Is there a single US energy company that does not receive money from the US government? No there is not. A false argument has been created. Since all energy companies are subsidized we should not be asking; “should wind be subsidized by the US government,” we should ask, “how should wind be subsidized by the government?” If wind is not subsidized then there is an uneven playing field tiled in the favor of the heavily subsidized dirty energy industry.