The Trump administration has rejected a coal industry push to issue a rarely used emergency order protecting coal-fired power plants.
One executive says the decision breaks a personal promise from President Donald Trump.
Companies say plants are overburdened by environmental regulations and market stresses, and were seeking relief through the executive order.
But the Energy Department has decided the order is unnecessary, and the White House agrees.
Trump had committed to the measure in private conversations with executives from Murray Energy Corp. and FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. after public events in July and early August, according to letters obtained by The Associated Press.
The decision highlights a pattern emerging in the Trump administration: The president's bold declarations - both public and private - are not always carried through to implementation.