RWE CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz has told German newspaper Die Zeit that the company will seek damages from the federal government should the government force the country to make an abrupt exit from coal. As reported previously in the Combustion Industry News, a coal exit commission is currently working on a strategy to end Germany’s reliance on coal-firing, from which is currently derives around 40% of its electricity. While it is difficult to imagine how the country would continue to function if coal-fired power plants were suddenly shut down, such an eventuality is apparently what Mr Schmitz fears. Much more likely is a gradual phase out, one that gives coal-reliant regions and industry time to adjust, as suggested by a leaked draft proposal seen by Reuters, which earmarks €1.5 billion (US$1.7 billion) to bring new industries to coal-producing regions. RWE and other German utilities earlier this year received some compensation from the federal government after suing it for its decision to pull the country out of nuclear power.