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Even Donald Trump couldn’t stop US power plants from moving to solar

FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2016, file photo, then Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell tours a solar project site on the Moapa River Indian Reservation about 40 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Elected officials and tribal leaders helped Friday, March 17, 2017, to power up the vast sun-to-electricity array that, in 2012, was the first utility-scale power production plant approved by the U.S. Interior Department on Indian land nationwide.
AP Photo/John Locher
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  • Tim Fernholz
By Tim Fernholz

Senior reporter

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Americans used less electricity from power plants in 2017 than they did in 2016, with an increasing proportion coming from renewable sources.

Thanks to cheaper renewable energy, the US is ahead of its goal to lower carbon emissions with the Clean Power Plan created by the Environmental Protection Agency during the Obama administration, according to Rice University Professor Daniel Cohan.

The Trump administration is attempting to repeal the Clean Power Plan, which it characterizes as a “war on coal,” but stagnant demand may be a bigger problem for electrical utilities than government rules.

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