Over at the Manhattan Contrarian, Francis Menton has a thoughtful post on the full costs of renewables that should be of great interest to electric utility ratepayers.
In the news today and from the weekend…
- Utility Dive reports there’s no shortage of rare earth minerals needed to transition to a clean energy economy, experts say. The problem is getting them out of the ground — and out of China.
- Fastmarkets AMM reports Junior miner Lithium Americas is on track to begin construction of its Thacker Pass project in the United States in early 2022, chief executive officer and president Jonathan Evans told Fastmarkets on Tuesday June 15.
- Politico Pro reports a split federal appellate court ruled on Thursday that the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw a proposed preemptive EPA veto of the Pebble Mine in Alaska can be subjected to a legal challenge.
- Alaska Public Media reports a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has revived a lawsuit aimed at blocking construction of the Pebble Mine in Southwest Alaska.
- E&E News PM reports a federal appeals court ruled that EPA’s 2019 decision to remove restrictions on mining in southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay region is subject to judicial review.
- The Wall Street Journal reports as the U.S. and its allies chase China in procuring critical minerals essential for modern technologies, they face a major hurdle: a lack of companies and projects with an established record.
In the news today…
- Jefferson City News Tribune reports that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is partnering with the University of Kansas to receive $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to search for critical minerals that are essential to the United States’ security and economy.
- E&E Daily reports a group of 14 House Democrats praised the White House’s push to build out U.S. mineral supply chains in a letter to President Biden on Tuesday.
- E&E Daily reports Granholm pushed back against suggestions that the Biden administration does not support domestic mining to help meet the increasing demand for critical minerals used in electric vehicles and battery storage and also discussed the topic of nuclear waste.
- Washington Examiner reports a group of two dozen Democratic House lawmakers are calling on Biden to take “bold action” that supports domestic mining and the production of critical minerals.
- Argus reports Republican lawmakers in North Carolina’s House of Representatives have introduced a bill that would require about half of Duke Energy’s coal-fired capacity in the state to close by 2030, and make utilities buy more renewable power.
- E&E Energywire reports a group of North Carolina Republican lawmakers, including the House majority leader, rolled out highly anticipated energy legislation this week, while a state environmental panel advanced a proposal to join a regional cap-and-trade system.
Over at the Manhattan Contrarian, Francis Menton penned a great article entitled, “The Future Of Energy: One Of These Things Is Not Real.” Mr. Menton points out the difference between fantasy and reality when it comes to the future of energy. One of the follies is that the use of coal will end soon. An excerpt:
What then is happening in the reality on the ground? In a post just a couple of days ago, I took note of a gigantic new Arctic oil project just getting underway from the Russians. So that’s one thing. How about coal. Yes, plenty of that is also getting developed right now, and by private money and outside the U.S., so there is little or nothing that the Biden Administration or environmental litigants can do to stop it. The Times of India has a piece from June 5 with the headline “India, Australia, China, Russia pushing ‘massive’ coal expansion.” Excerpt:
Coal producers are actively pursuing 2.2 billion tonnes per annum of new mine projects around the world, a growth of 30 per cent from current production levels, a new report from Global Energy Monitor said on Thursday. The first-of-its-kind analysis surveyed 432 proposed coal projects globally and found a handful of provinces and states in China, Russia, India, and Australia are responsible for 77 per cent (1.7 billion tonnes per annum) of new mine activity.
He also discusses the folly of offshore wind for the U.S. The entire article is well worth the read.
In the news today…
- National Journal reports the Biden administration is laying the groundwork for more domestic production of lithium and other metals that are pivotal to the emerging clean-energy economy.
- Charleston Gazette-Mail reports moments after West Virginia lawmakers received copies of an audit report warning that state mine cleanup funds are nearing insolvency, the Senate president sought to put the problem on someone else’s table.
- Metro News reports West Virginia lawmakers are aiming to draw down millions of federal dollars to help assuage the increasing possibility that mine reclamation costs could spiral out of control and swamp the state budget.
- E&E Greenwire reports coal plant operators are moving to take advantage of a Trump administration rule that critics say allows continued dumping of toxic wastewater into local lakes and rivers.
- Utility Dive reports Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., offered a spirited defense of the nation’s coal-fired power plants Thursday at Edison Electric Institute’s 2021 conference.
- E&E Greenwire reports the Fish and Wildlife Service today announced Endangered Species Act protections for the beardless chinchweed, an Arizona plant potentially put at risk by the proposed Rosemont Copper mine.
- Politico Pro reports executives from a group of U.S. renewable energy companies urged Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Congress on Monday to help shore up the domestic lithium battery manufacturing supply chain so the U.S. does not lose out to China in the push to build a clean energy industry.
- Politico reports days of negotiations at the G7 leaders summit in Cornwall failed to set an end-date for coal after the U.S. and Japan blocked a deal.
In the news today…
- Nevada Appeal reports Las Vegas is hosting its first big trade show since the start of the pandemic this week.
- E&E Greenwire reports EPA determined Friday that a proposed copper-nickel mine in Minnesota may pollute waters in Wisconsin and on a Native American reservation, a finding that could jeopardize a key permit for the long-planned PolyMet project.
- The Wall Street Journal reports mining companies are trying to tap into the flood of cash targeting green investments by touting their production of materials that go into wind turbines, power lines and batteries.
- Axios reports the White House is pledging a multi-agency push to spur more U.S. battery manufacturing and sustainable mining — both domestically and abroad — of raw materials used in battery tech.
- Quartz reports the global computer chips shortage that began worsening late last year has disrupted supply chains around the world, snarling production of everything from cars to phones to household appliances. And the rare earth industry is watching closely.
- The State Journal Register reports a coalition of unions, utility officials and Democratic and Republican lawmakers from central and southern Illinois called on Gov. JB Pritzker and legislative leaders Friday to exempt nonprofit coal-fired plants from mandated 2035 closures in an upcoming clean-energy bill.
- Washington Examiner reports Manchin and Granholm toured an underground coal mine Friday as the duo sought to recognize West Virginia miners while pitching new opportunities in clean energy.
- Argus reports Kentucky is supporting 19 US states in their Supreme Court challenge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) CO2 rules for power plants.