Coal-fired power plants closed across the U.S. last year at the second-fastest pace on record, Reuters reported Monday.
Power companies retired or converted about 15,100 megawatts of coal-fired electricity generation in 2019, Reuters reported, citing federal data that included preliminary statistics from the Energy Information Administration.
That amount was second only to 2015, when 19,300 megawatts’ worth of coal power was shut down under the Obama administration.
The sharp decline in coal-fired power plants comes despite President Trump’s vocal efforts to defend the industry.
An estimated 39,000 megawatts of coal-fired power plant capacity has shut down since Trump took office in 2017, according to Reuters.
About 46,600 megawatts could be reportedly shut down in Trump’s first four years in office if the trend continues, which would be more than the approximately 43,100 megawatts during former President Obama’s second term.
The coal industry has been declining for the last decade as it competes with alternative energy sources, including natural gas as well as solar and wind.