If there’s anything that could drag me out of my hungover stupor today, it’s some bad news for coal, and luckily there’s plenty of it!

Get this AP story:

At least 16 coal-fired power plant proposals nationwide have been scrapped in recent months and more than three dozen have been delayed as utilities face increasing pressure due to concerns over global warming and rising construction costs.

The slow pace of new plant construction reflects a dramatic change in fortune for a fuel source that just a few years ago was poised for a major resurgence.

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[happy dance]

It’s important to note that the risk of carbon regulation is part of the story, but not the whole story:

Meanwhile, material costs and demand for skilled labor has prompted plant costs to spike 40 percent or more. Industry representatives blamed increased competition from China and other developing nations aggressively pursuing new coal plants.

“This is like a tsunami attacking the whole industry all at once, with very limited amounts of solutions going forward,” said Daniele Seitz, an industry analyst with Dahlman Rose and Co. in New York.

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What does this mean to coal-state legislators? Take a wild guess:

A spokesman for U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, said the Energy Department report shows more incentives are needed to help utilities develop cleaner coal-fired plants. Wyoming is the largest coal producer in the nation.

You know what they say about how everything looks to the guy with the hammer …

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