Say Goodbye to Thermal Coal


Click to enlargeEdward Burtynsky

❝ ,,,Just one year ago, in his 2018 State of the Union address, the president claimed that his administration “ended the war on beautiful, clean coal.”

If the war on coal is over, peace for coal is a curious-looking thing.

❝ 2018 was a particularly bleak year for the industry. Coal capacity retirements actually doubled in 2018 compared to 2017, and coal production was largely flat. Recent projections from the Energy Information Administration don’t show the conclusive end of the coal industry any time soon, but they do show that coal may have reached a point of no return, despite all the rollbacks of environmental regulations that the Trump administration has proposed or enacted…

❝ In President Trump’s State of the Union speech, this year, he didn’t mention coal once…

Metallurgical coal is still needed. Specific chemical requirements in legacy steel-making processes continue. Thermal coal? Natural gas is going to take care of that easy-peasy.

8 thoughts on “Say Goodbye to Thermal Coal

  1. Goaf says:

    Idaho Power cuts coal consumption 60% in a decade : In 2008, 46.1 percent of Idaho Power’s energy came from coal. In 2017, the most recent numbers available, coal dropped to 18.3 percent. https://www.idahopress.com/news/local/idaho-power-s-energy-profile-has-gotten-cleaner-but-use/article_a15f1abe-a3ba-5952-9da1-e263d1e73dfc.html
    One of the largest power plants in the West could be at risk if Westmoreland Coal raises the price of coal at the utility’s sole supplier as part of its bankruptcy proceedings – however If negotiations hasten the closure of Montana’s massive coal-fired power plant, ratepayers may wind up saving money. https://news.bloombergenvironment.com/environment-and-energy/power-plant-risks-early-closure-in-westmoreland-bankruptcy
    Colstrip Power Plant shut down to address unsafe pollution emission, scheduled maintenance (July 2018) https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/colstrip-power-plant-shut-down-to-address-unsafe-pollution-emission/article_962fc23c-756e-53cd-a622-9c4969ae295e.html

  2. Mike says:

    President Donald Trump on Monday publicly pushed the Tennessee Valley Authority to save an aging coal plant in Kentucky that buys its fuel from one of the president’s top supporters.
    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/11/trump-coal-1163128
    “Coal is an important part of our electricity generation mix and @TVAnews should give serious consideration to all factors before voting to close viable power plants, like Paradise #3 in Kentucky!” Trump tweeted.
    His missive came just days before the TVA board is slated to vote on the future of Paradise Unit 3, a 49-year-old coal plant that the federally owned utility has said would be too expensive to keep operating. The 1,150-megawatt plant gets the bulk of its coal from a subsidiary of Murray Energy, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. Robert Murray, the CEO of the mining company, is a major Trump supporter who has personally lobbied the president to take other actions to help the ailing coal industry, particularly in regions where he sells coal.
    ….Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, who is awaiting Senate confirmation, lobbied for Murray Energy among other clients before joining the Trump administration, including joining the CEO and other company officials in a 2017 meeting with Energy Secretary Rick Perry to discuss Murray’s policy proposals. Wheeler has said he did not write the action plan Murray presented to the Trump administration.

  3. Bilagáana says:

    “Environmental groups plan to sue Peabody Energy for failing to notify the federal government that the Kayenta coal mine [on the Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona] may close before the end of its operating permit.” https://fronterasdesk.org/content/761968/environmental-groups-plan-sue-peabody-energy “Utilities plan to shut down the Navajo Generating Station in December because they say the power plant is no longer able to compete with facilities fueled by natural gas. The mine, owned by Peabody Energy, feeds the plant. The Sierra Club and two Navajo groups say they’re concerned Peabody is trying to avoid its legal obligations to prepare for reclamation of the 44,000 acre mine.”

  4. Artificial respiration says:

    A New York hedge fund negotiating with the city of Farmington N.M. to take over the coal-burning San Juan Generating Station is proposing to refit the aging power plant with technology city officials say would reduce carbon emissions by 90 percent and help pay for itself by shipping captured carbon to oil fields through a pipeline.
    But the “carbon capture and sequestration” technology being touted by Farmington and Acme Equities LLC is controversial and has never before been used in an operation as large as the San Juan plant. State legislators sponsoring a bill designed to shut down the San Juan plant by 2022 discussed the bill and the Farmington negotiations before the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee on Saturday, expressing doubts about the technology and whether the proposal would be economically feasible.
    http://nmpoliticalreport.com/2019/03/02/lawmakers-question-carbon-tech-proposed-in-plan-to-keep-san-juan-plant-running/?mc_cid=81a9db3b00&mc_eid=4b85ca587f

  5. Molly M. says:

    Nearly all of the nation’s coal-fired power plants subject to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule have contaminated groundwater with coal ash pollution, according to a new report https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/trending/-VezNZlVtBx3kxdQ2gm9hA2 The report — produced by the Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice — also describes alleged loopholes in the rule while raising questions about how electric utilities plan to close hundreds of coal ash storage sites across the country.
    Data covering 265 coal plants, or roughly three-quarters of all coal plants across the U.S., show that 91% of those plants have leaked unsafe levels of one or more coal ash constituents into underlying groundwater, the report found. The analysis further determined that groundwater at 52% of coal plants has unsafe levels of arsenic, a cancer-causing carcinogen, and 60% of groundwater at coal plants has unsafe levels of lithium, a neurotoxin.
    See also “Mapping the Coal Ash Contamination” (interactive map) https://earthjustice.org/features/map-coal-ash-contaminated-sites

  6. Last gaspers says:

    ● “Energy proposals across the U.S. West illustrate how state lawmakers are responding to the market transition away from coal power in the face of inaction from the White House.” (Utility Dive 3/5/19) https://www.utilitydive.com/news/wyoming-passes-coal-support-bill-in-spate-of-western-action-to-save-ailing/549753/
    ● “Wyoming Legislature extends lifeline to coal power : As economics challenge coal’s future, Wyoming passes a law to prop it up.” (High Country News 3/5/19) https://www.hcn.org/articles/coal-wyoming-lawmakers-extend-lifeline-to-coal-power See also “Coal bailout bill will impose a hidden tax on families and workers” (Casper Star-Tribune Op-Ed, Feb 19, 2019) https://trib.com/business/energy/shogren-what-does-the-market-say-coal-bailout-bill-will/article_87c7c25d-4696-5693-b44c-82d6277fd28e.html
    ● “With Wyoming’s only coal exporter facing potential bankruptcy, what happens to the export dream?” (Casper Star-Tribune 3/7/19) https://trib.com/business/energy/with-wyoming-s-only-coal-exporter-facing-potential-bankruptcy-what/article_03f91d82-e3d6-5da3-a10e-340b93d41ec8.html
    ● “Wyoming coal ash ponds rank among nation’s worst in contaminated groundwater study” (Casper Star-Tribune 3/5/19) https://trib.com/business/energy/wyoming-coal-ash-ponds-rank-among-nation-s-worst-in/article_11798b63-d81c-5864-bd0a-ec38ef31c628.html

  7. Chrizzart says:

    Cleaner energy: Idaho Power wants to completely cut coal (3/21/19) https://magicvalley.com/news/local/cleaner-energy-idaho-power-wants-to-completely-cut-coal/article_6bff7f83-9222-55b2-b9c7-186af33ae7b9.html
    Meanwhile in Montana: The first hearing for the latest draft of a Colstrip rescue bill drew a crowd of supporters and opponents Tuesday. Senate Bill 331 sets up terms for NorthWestern Energy to buy an additional 150 megawatts of generating capacity in Unit 4 of the coal-fired power plant. It also guts the Public Service Commission’s ability to regulate rates the utility passes on to customers to recover its existing investment at Colstrip and the additional 150 megawatts. Also nothing in the bill obliges NorthWestern to purchase additional generation to receive the scaled-back oversight. https://www.montanafreepress.org/at-latest-hearing-for-bill-meant-to-salvage-colstrip-opponents-warn-of-wreckage-of-deregulation/ Jason Brown, an attorney with Montana Consumer Counsel, told lawmakers that nothing in SB 331 would prevent an early closure at Colstrip. The plant faces abandonment by larger West Coast utility operators looking to end their dependence on coal, a fact the bill notes in its preamble. “Right after it acknowledges the plant can close early, this bill, in the same breath, encourages NorthWestern to buy more of it,” Brown said.
    In other news, “the Rosebud Mine, the lone coal supplier for Colstrip Power Plant, appears to be on steadier ground, at least for now, as Westmoreland Coal Co. exits bankruptcy.” https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/rosebud-mine-post-bankruptcy-is-stable-until-year-s-end/article_5f1aa2c6-f650-54cb-931e-e08d30e89b9f.html

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