In the news today…
- The Oklahoman and Rasmussen Reports carry an op-ed by Stephen Moore, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, in which he argues that the anti-mining movement in America will impede any effort of the green revolution since minerals are necessary for green technology.
- Politico Pro and Bloomberg report the ACE rule is expected to be released today, Wednesday, in the morning.
- Washington Examiner reports the anticipated ACE rule would encourage heat rate improvements in power plants, increasing efficiency.
- Clean Energy.org reports the ACE rule could lead to higher emissions, stating that the Clean Power Plan would have had more benefits for the southeast.
- E&E Climatewire reports EPA will address the issue of how many people might die from air pollution when rolling out the ACE rule.
- WyoFile reports Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon sees carbon capture through the use of coal as a solution to climate change through bio-energy carbon capture storage.
- Salon carries an article which states that lithium mining for electric cars is damaging the planet, meaning the green revolution isn’t truly “green” after all.
- E&E Daily reports Sen. Lisa Murkowski is “not rushing” to hold a hearing on a broad hardrock mining reform proposal.
- E&E Climatewire reports on a Democrat led hearing to support a measure to boost technologies such as carbon capture.
In the news today…
- E&E News PM reports coal, oil and gas companies have six months to recalculate several years of royalties they owe the federal government after the Obama-era accounting standards were restored.
- WSAZ reports a West Virginia company has decided to build a coal to liquids facility in Mason County that will turn coal and natural gas into fuel that burns cleaner than petroleum-based fuel.
- The Energy and Policy Institute says that American Electric Power wants to use customer money to fund a clean coal group involved in misleading attacks on wind and solar power.
- E&E Daily reports a new hearing on black lung entitled “Breathless and Betrayed” stems from a spike in the number of black lung cases which has fired up House Democrats.
- Argus reports coal producer Contura Energy has completed refinancing its term loan for a new $561.8 million five-year secured loan.
- Inside EPA reports OMB and EPA took a flurry of last minute meetings in recent weeks concerning the ACE rule, but the rule is expected to be finalized imminently.
- Inside EPA reports state air regulators are warning that EPA’s ACE rule will leave them vulnerable to lawsuits from regulated utilities, their competitors and environmentalists because it does not set a GHG reduction target against which their plans would be assessed.
- E&E Energywire reports the ACE rule, a Trump administration lifeline to coal plants, may not help save coal in the long run.
- Politico Pro and E&E Greenwire report the Supreme Court upheld Virginia’s 37-year-old ban on uranium mining, ruling that state mining laws are not preempted by the federal Atomic Energy Act.
- E&E Greenwire goes into depth on the Supreme Court decision to uphold Virginia’s uranium mining ban.
- Politico Pro reports the Supreme Court decision to uphold a Virginia mining ban on uranium is good news for Western uranium miners, who also seek tariffs on foreign imports to boost the domestic uranium industry.
- The Washington Times carries an op-ed in which the author argues that the “Green Energy Revolution” is impossible without mining, and therefore environmentalists should rethink their anti-mining stance and support domestic mining.
- Bloomberg reports mining lithium and copper for electric vehicles is causing ecological damage in Chile.
- The Albuquerque Journal reports Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have requested a hearing on the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act, which would require hardrock mining companies to pay royalties.
- Utility Dive reports the Carbon Capture Improvement Act of 2019 would authorize the use of tax-exempt private activity bonds to finance the purchase of carbon capture equipment for power plants and industrial facilities.
Thanks to the Southeast Missourian for carrying my op-ed on the ACE Rule!
In the news today…
- The Hill reports the Trump administration is signaling a renewed push to consider uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, a move that would undoubtedly ignite a political fight involving environmentalists and the mining industry. NMA is mentioned.
- E&E Energywire reports Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk said yesterday that the automaker could expand into mining as it casts about for ways to bring down costs and scale up production of its batteries.
- Politico Pro reports U.S. coal consumption hit its lowest level in nearly four decades last year and is on track to keep falling, according to the latest forecast from the U.S. EIA.
- Politico Pro reports Secretary of Energy Perry today gave the clearest indication yet that his agency isn’t planning to provide financial support to keep struggling coal and nuclear plants from closing.
- WBUR reports a Kentucky county struggles to figure out what comes next now that a coal-fired power plant that was its main source of income is closing.
- Daily Energy Insider reports the DOE’s Office of Fuel Energy this week announced investments of $39 million into 17 projects meant to improve various elements of existing coal plants.
- CNN Business reports the renewable energy sector had slightly more installed capacity than coal in April, according to a FERC report.
- E&E Daily reports Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Democrats pressed William Kilbride, President Trump’s nominee for the Tennessee Valley Authority board, about the utility’s ties to pro-fossil fuel interests.
- Greentech Media reports adverse economic conditions are driving coal out of European energy markets even faster than previously thought.
Thanks to the following newspapers for publishing my new op-ed on the ACE Rule this past week!
- May 30: Fargo Inforum (ND)
- May 31: Weber Sentinel News (UT)
- June 1: Roanoke Times (VA)
- June 1: Union Daily Times (SC): Print edition only.
- June 1: East Liverpool Review (OH)
- June 1: Delaware County Times (PA)
- June 1: Harrisburg Patriot News (PA)
- June 3: Mainline Media News (USA)
- June 3: Lisbon Morning Journal (OH): Print edition only.
- June 3: Pottstown Mercury (PA)
- June 4: Exton Daily Local (PA)
- June 3: Phoenix Reporter and Item (PA)
- June 4: San Antonio Express News (TX)
Thanks to the following newspapers for publishing two of my new op-eds!
- Deseret News, the Farmington Daily Times and the Towanda Daily Review carry my new op-ed in which I argue that the ACE rule offers a realistic plan to address climate concerns while still ensuring the future reliability of America’s power grid.
- The Waco Tribune-Herald carries my Texas specific op-ed where I conclude that it would be unwise to further reduce coal-fired generation in Texas given the high electricity needs of the state.
In the news today…
- Energy News Network reports Guzman Energy plans to buyout and close coal-fired power plants in Colorado to further develop renewable energy sources such as solar.
- Utility Dive and E&E Energywire reports Guzman Energy’s offer to buy and close three coal plants was rejected by Tri-State Generation and Transmission.
- World Oil and Bloomberg report last year West Virginia produced more natural gas than coal.
- Chicago Magazine reports southern Illinois still highly values coal because of the industry’s good paying jobs but worries that the industry has no future.
- The Washington Examiner reports utilities are concerned the ACE rule, set to become final in June, will impact their transition away from coal in favor of modernizing coal plants.
- Forbes reports that some utilities are essentially subsidizing coal by remaining vertically integrated with the coal power plants which power them, keeping coal plants running when the market does not favor them.
- E&E Energywire reports coal plants which are shut down leave stranded costs that consumers still have to pay.
- The Salt Lake Tribune reports a business venture to clean substandard coal and sell it as fuel proved a failure, leaving a facility contaminated with coal waste and unpaid debts.
- Utility Dive reports customers can now buy bonds to pay off stranded coal assets, but utilities are hesitant about the method.
- PoliticoPro reports Andy Ott, president and CEO of PJM, will step down at the end of June.
- E&E Climatewire reports companies that pledge 100 percent renewable energy are not always consuming renewable energy due to renewable energy credits used for the grid.
- Mining.com reports a spike in EV sales, and IEA’s projections hold that 10 to 20 percent of the world’s vehicles could be electric by 2030.
- Inside EPA reports Democratic attorneys general and two national organizations have urged EPA in comments not to scale back the scope of states’ review authority under section 401 of the CWA.
- PoliticoPro reports a federal judge late Tuesday ruled that the Waters of the U.S. rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act.
- E&E Greenwire reports efforts to settle County of Maui v. Hawai’I Wildlife Fund stalled last week; if no settlement is reached, the case will be taken up this fall in the Supreme Court.
In the news today and from the weekend…
- E&E Climatewire reports the Interior department claims the coal moratorium was only a “pause”, so to restart coal leasing would only change the timing of emissions, not their cumulative impact.
- Minnesota Public Radio reports Xcel Energy wants to close its remaining coal-burning plants by 2030, including the Sherco Generation Station, which is a major source of economy for the city of Becker.
- E&E Energywire reports an Ohio House committee voted to approve a revised ‘clean air’ bill that would provide aid for nuclear and coal plants while slashing support for renewables.
- Morning Consult carries an op-ed which states coal use in the US is in free fall due to market factors, even though the Trump administration continues to support the use of coal.
- The New York Times reports President Trump is rolling back efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions by changing the method of research within government agencies, scaling back projected climate models from 2100 to 2040.
- Axios reports Great Britain has gone close to 11 days without using coal in its electricity mix, signaling the region’s relatively fast movement away from coal.
I live and work in Jefferson City, MO. It is Missouri’s capital city, situated in the middle of the state on the banks of the Missouri River. It’s a sleepy river town, and a great place to live for families.
Late Wednesday evening just before midnight, a strong ECF 3 tornado tore through the center of town, leaving lots of devastation in its wake. My office building was in the middle of its path. It sustained fairly extensive damage to the roof and windows, but at this point it looks repairable. Others were not so fortunate. The furniture store right next to my building was almost totally destroyed. With all of the damage, it it a miracle that there were no fatalities. Our early warning system saved lives, if not property.
I live on the west edge of town, 3-4 miles from downtown. The sirens going off woke me up around 11:45 pm, and I quickly switched on the TV. One of our local meteorologists was imploring everyone in Jefferson City to move to their basements NOW. Luckily, my neighborhood escaped unscathed. Others were not so lucky.
One of the more intriguing things I have seen on Twitter is the rush to politicize the tragedy. One twitter post said: “Hey, climate change deniers, Jefferson City, Mo was just hit w a ef 4 maybe 5 tornado. When was the last time a mountainous river town had a tornado? Please stop #tornadojeffersoncity”. This tweet, and others like it, are just erroneous on so many levels.
First, Jefferson City is not “mountainous.” The city’s elevation is 630 ft. It is hilly, but nowhere near mountainous. Second, tornadoes are not that rare around this area. Records indicate that since 1950, a total of 56 historical tornado events that had recorded magnitude of 2 or above have occurred in or near Jefferson City, MO. We are located right in the heart of Tornado Alley. Since it is a rural area, most tornadoes that occur here inflict minimal property damage–it’s when they hit populous areas that you see the terrible destruction.
We spend a lot of time on tornado emergency preparedness here in Jefferson City as well as in the entire state. We have a first-rate warning system. We also have monthly state-wide testing of the warning systems during the spring and summer months. Our schools run regular tornado drills, and have been doing so decades before there was any talk about “climate change.”
The point is, blaming climate change on this tornado event is irresponsible, in poor taste, and just plain wrong-headed.
Here in the heartland, we are a resilient bunch. We face all kinds of extreme weather events–heat, cold, drought, floods, tornadoes, you name it. Blaming it all on “climate change” to score political points would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic.
In the news today…
- The Billings Gazette and Colorado Sun re-run the article by Associated Press concerning the conclusion by officials that lifting the coal leasing moratorium would have little effect on emissions.
- Inside EPA reports the Bureau of Land Management has begun a NEPA review of its decision to end the coal leasing moratorium; in a May 22 draft environmental assessment it concluded that lifting the lease moratorium would have a negligible effect on emissions.
- Axios reports coal could be used to make high-tech products in a new route to boost the coal industry, according to a report commissioned by the DOE.
- E&E Greenwire reports Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) revived her bill to block future interruptions of federal coal leasing by requiring Congress to sign off on any attempt by the Interior Department to halt coal leasing.
- NPR reports new opportunities for transitioning retired coal plants to other uses.
- The Billings Gazette reports Westmoreland Mining LLC is asking the state of Montana reconsider before allowing Colstrip Power Plant to buy coal from another supplier as the loss would put hundreds of mining jobs at stake.
- E&E News PM reports House Natural Resources Chairman Grijalva wrote three letters to the Interior Department, one of which urged for a full environmental impact statement to review the decision to end the coal leasing moratorium.
- The Columbus Dispatch reports the new version of a clean energy bill would bail out two coal plants in Ohio.
- E&E Energywire reports the Ohio clean air bill which provides subsidies for a pair of coal plants was approved in committee on Thursday and makes its way to the House floor.
- Bloomberg reports the Sierra Club and Charles Koch both hate an Ohio bill to take away renewable subsidies and give them to coal and nuclear plants.
- The Hill reports presidential candidate Julian Castro declared he will refuse contributions to his White House bid by oil, gas and coal industry executives.
- E&E Climatewire reports BHP Group, with a pessimistic outlook on coal, is looking towards other options such as copper and nickel sulfide.
- E&E Greenwire reports the Council on Environmental Quality is expecting a fast White House review process as it prepares to release new rules on how the federal government should implement the National Environmental Policy Act.
- The Washington Examiner reports presidential candidate John Delaney has released a $4 trillion plan to fight climate change, which includes $5 billion a year to reduce the cost of carbon capture technology and a $20 billion “carbon throughway” pipeline.
- E&E Daily reports the Senate version of the annual defense authorization bill includes a provision to boost the military’s energy security through carbon capture technology.
- E&E Energywire reports more and more of Asia’s biggest banks are no longer providing loans or extending credit to new coal-fired power plants, posing long-term challenges to exporters in the U.S.
In the news today…
- Bloomberg reports rare earth minerals characterize a tech vulnerability for the U.S. in its trade war with China.
- EIA reports U.S. coal stockpiles decreased to 98.7 million tons in February 2019, their lowest value in more than a decade.
- Gizmodo reports cases of black lung may be increasing due to modern technology uncovering thinner layers of coal with more layers of rock, producing more silica dust.
- The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Gov. Jim Justice’s family companies filed a lawsuit against OSMRE for reneging on an agreement concerning unpaid penalties and reclamation fees.
- E&E Climatewire reports 21 youths are suing the government, asking for a moratorium on all federal fossil fuel permitting, including mining.
- Bloomberg reports BHP Group, the world’s biggest miner, has a grim outlook for thermal coal and won’t add production as it prioritizes growth in commodities tied to the shift to renewable energy and electric transport.
- Argus reports the National Coal Council recommends DOE should invest in technologies to expand the uses of coal beyond power production.
- Argus reports demand for coal has failed to pick up heading into summer as average profits for power producers using the fuel have fallen to seasonal seven-year lows across most of the central and eastern U.S.
- E&E Daily reports House appropriators outlined an extra $5 million in grant funding for struggling coal communities that largely blame the party for coal’s troubles.
- E&E Daily reports Tuesday House Democrats and a string of witnesses denounced EPA’s plans for revisiting its regulations on power industry mercury emissions.
- Mining.com reports both environmentalists and fossil fuel industry representative have vested interests in carbon capture technology and met in Wyoming to strategize on ways to get commercial carbon capture and storage off the ground across the U.S.
- E&E Energywire reports a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp. is teaming up with a Canadian company to design the world’s largest plant to remove CO2 from the air in Texas.
- E&E Greenwire reports the Maui County Council’s Governance, Ethics and Transparency Committee met for more than five hours yesterday, but no decision has been made on whether to settle the CWA case pending at the Supreme Court.
At City Journal, Mark Mills has written an excellent piece entitled, “Want an Energy Revolution?” Mark writes that it won’t come from renewables—which can never supply all the power we need—but from foundational scientific discoveries. It’s a great read.
In the news today…
- Crain’s Cleveland Business reports the demand for coal is dropping due to market forces, not the government.
- The Flathead Beacon, Tech Know Bits, the Mayfield Recorder, Power Engineering and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch carry a previously run article stating demand for coal is losing ground to renewables and natural gas.
- The Dayton Daily News reports nearly 100,000 coal miners are at risk of losing their pensions and are petitioning lawmakers to vote on bills to save their pensions.
- The Casper Star Tribune carries a column arguing for support for coal miners’ pensions in the wake of mine company bankruptcies and coal mine closures.
- CBS News reports climate activist Bill McKibben advocates abandoning coal as soon as possible and moving straight to renewable energy.
- Vox reports that the world’s richest institutions, such as Harvard, invest in fossil fuels, and activists want to change that.
- CBS News reports many coal miners are switching over to jobs in renewable energy, such as wind generated power, as coal mining employment prospects decrease.
- The Cap Times carries an op-ed by Don Wichert in which he states that Madison Gas & Electric’s portfolio remains dominated by coal, despite investments into renewable energies.
- PoliticoPro reports the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will consider two bills today aimed at reducing U.S. dependence on foreign minerals. The hearing begins at 10 AM.
- PoliticoPro reports Sen. Murkowski will “take a look at” the hardrock mining reform bill, but was not optimistic about the legislation.
In the news today and from the weekend…
- The Billings Gazette reports Montana’s congressional Republicans are backing a tax break on refined coal in hopes of sparking investment in Colstrip Power Plant.
- Wyoming Public Media reports Rocky Mountain Power is proposing to reduce capacity at the coal-fired Jim Bridger power plant in order to lower emissions.
- The Washington Post runs a negative article stating President Trump’s pro-coal agenda has overridden attempts to protect endangered species.
- The Casper Star Tribune, Fox News and Argus report Cloud Peak filed for bankruptcy on Friday.
- Argus reports new U.S. coal plants will be smaller, cleaner and more efficient, according to a DOE official, and will fill the gaps renewables cannot support.
- E&E Energywire reports the fight over the Washington coal export terminal heads to the 9th Circuit to challenge Washington state’s blockage of the project.
- WSAZ reports Consol Energy Inc. expects to open a metallurgical coal mine in southwestern West Virginia in 2021.
- E&E Daily reports the Senate will hold a hearing on two bills, the American Mineral Security Act and Rare Earth Element Advanced Coal Technologies Act, which focus on import reliance for critical minerals.
- E&E Greenwire and Inside EPA report the Maui County submitted a brief breaking down the language in their court case, County of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, a case with sweeping implications for Clean Water Act permitting.
- E&E Daily reports two congressional panels this week will look at how best to deliver the next generation of clean energy, including legislation to bolster research into carbon capture and storage technology.
- CNN reports the UK went a full week, from May 1 to May 8, without burning coal, the first time since 1882 when the first coal-fired power plant started running.
In the news today…
- Greentech Media reports PacifiCorp is taking the first steps to replacing its coal-fired power plants with wind, solar and energy storage resources.
- E&E Greenwire reports the Interior Department has approved the expansion of a New Mexico coal mine despite the expectation that it will soon lose its only customer and close.
- S&P Global reports Peabody states a 14.4 percent drop in revenue compared to the first quarter of last year, though executives remain optimistic.
- The Salt Lake Tribune and Argus report Kennecott Utah Copper is shutting down its last coal power plant in Magna and shifting to renewable energy.
- U.S. News and E&E Energywire report the Justice Department has started a civil investigation into the coal-fueled power plant that Mississippi Power Co. had been building in Kemper County, Mississippi.
- E&E Energywire reports dying coal plants are being transformed into facilities for the wind industry.
- S&P Global reports the rise of renewable energy could be a boon for global mining companies but could also raise scrutiny to corporate responsibility practices.
- Transport Topics reports the US trails China and other countries in lithium mining, essential for EV batteries.
- PoliticoPro reports a Canadian official says he’s pressing for the Trump administration to forgo import restrictions on uranium that would hurt Canada’s mining industry.
- Inside EPA reports House Democrats are dragging their feet to advance legislation to further encourage carbon capture, utilization and storage technology.
Thanks to the Freeport Journal Standard (IL) for carrying my op-ed in which I show that past history reveals the limitations of natural gas and renewables, especially in times of extreme weather events, and that an “all of the above strategy” when it comes to generating electricity is the preferable energy policy.
Thanks to the Rockford Register Star (IL) for carrying my op-ed where I opine that states’ clean energy goals, such as ones proposed in Illinois, do not account for the high costs of a renewables-only policy nor the intermittency issues of renewable energy.
Thanks to the Providence Journal (RI), which carries my op-ed in which I write that Rhode Island faces a lack of energy reliability and high costs due to an over-reliance on natural gas.
In the news today…
- E&E Energywire reports the Interior Department’s efforts to expand development of federal oil, gas and coal have suffered some recent courtroom setbacks.
- E&E Daily reports Democrats are expected to push for more renewable energy development on federal lands during a House Natural Resources oversight hearing tomorrow where the Trump administration’s energy policies are expected to take center stage.
- Oilprice.com reports a wave of clean energy policies in states is killing coal.
- The Washington Examiner reports the Trump administration could be turning away from coal in Appalachia.
- E&E Greenwire reports there is uncertainty around the future of MATS, with some believing it could be withdrawn in its entirety.
- E&E Greenwire reports the Brayton Point Power Station in Massachusetts had its cooling towers demolished this weekend; the site will be turned into a multi-use facility mainly dedicated to supporting offshore wind farms.
- E&E News PM reports Sen. Cory Booker calls for not only reauthorizing the Abandoned Mine Land fee but also doubling the rates coal companies pay for every ton of coal mined.
- E&E Energywire reports an alternative to coal which involves turning trash into a fuel opened last month, and EPA has set a 30 percent limit on how much of the new fuel can be used as a supplement to coal.
- The Washington Examiner reports Energy Secretary Rick Perry says switching the nation to 100 percent renewable energy would lead to permanent black outs without more reliable power plants.
- NorthcentralPA.com reports Pennsylvania lawmakers on Friday announced the re-organization of the Legislative Coal Caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral legislative caucus that focuses on supporting and enhancing Pennsylvania’s coal mining industry.
- The Sun Times reports Powder River Basin coal demand could fall between 1 to 3 percent per year, according to one of the basin’s largest producers, Arch Coal.
- KTWO and the Casper Star Tribune report Wyoming governor Mark Gordon has serious reservations about the potential early retirement of units at two Wyoming coal-fired power plants due to the loss of jobs and the discouragement it brings to clean coal technology development.
- Bloomberg reports federal judges have repeatedly gotten in the way of President Trump’s “energy dominance” policy to bolster fossil fuels such as coal.
- S&P Global reports a PacifiCorp study confirms that coal is being pushed out of the market, and the company presented analysis showing customers could save money if four units were retired early.
- WKBN reports the Pennsylvania Winner Development Company will use a federal grant to see if rare earth elements can be cost-effectively extracted from coal ash.
- DesignNews reports a new copper-based material could be used to replace more expensive precious metals like silver and gold in next-generation and printed electronics.
- PoliticoPro, InsideEPA and E&E Greenwire report a federal court faulted EPA for omitting questions from a list companies must answer to keep chemical identities “confidential” under the updated Toxic Substances Control Act.
- PoliticoPro and InsideEPA report EPA plans to allow Texas to shield the state’s power plants, refineries and other industrial plants from civil penalties for pollution emitted during malfunctions.
- E&E Energywire reports German energy company RWE won’t invest in new coal-fired power stations as “new coal-fired power stations no longer have a place in [its] future-oriented strategy”.