Consumers Energy plans to stop burning coal by 2040

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) (2/19/2018) - The president and CEO of Consumers Energy said the Michigan utility will stop using coal to generate electricity by 2040.

Patti Poppe said the utility will generate 40 percent of its power from renewable sources such as wind and solar energy by then. It also will rely on natural gas, hydropower and improved efficiency to meet customer needs.

Poppe said the moves are part of an initiative to slash emissions of heat-trapping gases that cause global warming. She said it's also good economically, as falling costs of renewable energy make coal less competitive, even as President Donald Trump's administration boosts the coal industry.

Consumers Energy closed seven of its 12 coal-fired power plants in 2016. Poppe said it will file a plan with the Michigan Public Service Commission for phasing out the others.

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