Thanks to Johnstown, PA’s The Tribune-Democrat for carrying my new op-ed discussing how states are straining their power grids to the limit by closing down coal-fired power plants, especially during peak usage periods like the summer.
The Associated Press reports that a Utah cooperative has enough power-purchase agreements to begin pursuing a license for what would be the first small modular reactor in the U.S.
Have you noticed that every time the weather changes for the worse, “climate change” is to blame? If it floods, it’s due to climate change. If there is a drought, it’s due to climate change. If it’s extremely hot, it’s due to climate change. If it’s extremely cold, it’s due to climate change.
Well, Scott Adams is a great satirist, and below is his hilarious take on the climate change hysteria. Enjoy (click on image to enlarge)!
Thanks to the The Southern Illinoisan for publishing my new op-ed on the challenges of delivering reliable power during times of peak usage in the Summer. These challenges are the result of the retirement of base load coal and nuclear plants coupled with the increasing reliance on intermittent wind and solar energy.
In the news today…
- The Farmington Daily Times reports the governor of New Mexico is committing $40 million in assistance to San Juan County, the Navajo Nation and displaced workers if the San Juan Generating Station closes in 2022.
- Yale Climate Connections carries an op-ed in which the author argues that economics, not regulation, is the reason coal is in decline.
- The Casper Star Tribune reports Blackjewel has yet to finalize a new financing proposal that would bring its coal mines back to full operation.
- E&E News PM reports looming economic threats face 26 U.S. counties that are “coal-mining dependent” according to a new report.
- The Ohio Valley Resource reports declining coal tax revenues place coal-reliant counties in Appalachia at risk of fiscal collapse, according to new research.
- S&P Global reports power plant owners with plans to retire the most coal-fired capacity in the next several years said they would not change course based on the Trump administration’s ACE rule.
- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports a Department of the Air Force request for information concerning the capacity and processing capabilities of the domestic rare earth mining industry could boost U.S. production.
- The Hill carries an op-ed in which the author argues that those who oppose the proposed Twin Metals Minnesota mine do not have the facts to back up their position since a formal proposal has yet to be submitted.
- E&E Greenwire reports two uranium mining companies have hired the same lobbying firm in their fight for domestic uranium trade protections.
- Enter Stage Right carries an op-ed by Paul Driessen and Ned Mamula who argue that vital minerals are available in the U.S. and permitting laws should be streamlined to encourage domestic mining.
- Politico Pro and Inside EPA report EPA has sent its final rule to repeal the WOTUS rule to the White House for interagency review.
- E&E Daily reports Sen. Rand Paul has revived a legislative package that would reduce the reach of EPA’s New Source Review permitting program for power plants and other industrial facilities.
- E&E Energywire reports a coalition of power industry groups launched a legal fight over a federal regulation opening wholesale electricity markets to energy storage technologies like batteries.
- Reuters reports China’s coal output for June hit a record high as miners ramped up production to ensure supply ahead of peak summer demand for electricity.
In the news today…
- The Washington Post reports black lung disease is on the rise and that the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund is on unstable ground.
- The Journal reports the public comment period on the environmental analysis concerning the expansion of the Hesperus coal mine in Colorado is now open.
- The Lexington Herald-Leader carries an editorial in which the author argues that the coal industry is hurting its workers as it struggles to stay afloat.
- The Associated Press reports New Mexico regulators have decided on a course for how they will handle the closure of the San Juan Generating Station.
- Argus reports DOE has selected six projects to receive more than $14 million in federal funding to develop new coal-fired power plant technology.
- Bloomberg Environment reports coal-fired utilities aren’t getting the flexibility they had hoped for in the ACE rule.
- Utility Dive reports Sen. Bill Cassidy has asked DOE to focus on carbon capture efforts for natural gas instead of coal and is co-sponsoring a bill to that effect.
In the news today…
- The Casper Star Tribune runs an editorial which argues that Blackjewel owes an explanation to its workers and Wyoming over the sudden closure of two coal mines.
- The Lexington Herald Leader reports a former employee filed a class action lawsuit against Blackjewel for breaking federal labor law regarding wages and benefits.
- Vox carries an editorial which argues that the coal industry is drying up in both Appalachia and Wyoming and that the coal workers are being left behind.
- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports a federal appeals court in Cincinnati has ruled in favor of union power plant workers, supporting their claim for $5.5 million in back wages.
- Reuters reports at least half of the Democrats running for president have said they were interested in UMWA’s invitation to tour underground coal mines and speak with miners about the future of coal.
- The Environmental Working Group carries an editorial which argues that efforts to help the coal industry are futile and states should stop passing legislation to prop up coal and instead focus on transition funding.
- Argus reports U.S. generators will use less coal for the rest of this year than expected because of low gas prices and increased renewable supply.
- E&E Energywire reports BLM’s Colorado office is holding two hearings for coal mine expansions on the same day, which environmentalists claim was planned to stop public commentators from being present at both meetings.
- The Nevada Current carries an editorial which argues that Nevada’s mining tax policy for minerals is a farce and needs to be reformed.
- E&E Energywire reports a report by Greenpeace finds that deep-sea mining for minerals risks severe damage to the environment and suggests recycling minerals as an option for minerals supply in products like electric cars.
In the news today and from the weekend…
Rare Earth Metals:
- DefenseNews carries an op-ed by Jeff Green, president of the J.A. Green & Company government relations firm, in which he comments on China’s threatened restriction of rare earths to U.S. defense contractors and argues this has been a security vulnerability for years.
- InsideEPA reports EPA is only projecting small cuts in greenhouse gases from the ACE rule but is confident about the utility sector’s market-based shift toward lower emitting sources.
- InsideEPA reports EPA critics are questioning EPA’s cost-benefit analysis for its ACE rule, charging that the agency’s official projections of modest benefits could be inflated and the rule might even result in higher carbon emissions.
- Washington Examiner reports Democrats are calling for a “just transition” of coal miners to other professions in the wake of Blackjewel LLC filing for bankruptcy.
- The Lexington Herald Leader reports Blackjewel will not be reimbursing miners’ paychecks until the company can resume its normal operations.
- WVPB reports a federal bankruptcy court has granted a request by Blackjewel to borrow $5 million to stay afloat on the condition that its president and CEO, Jeff Hoops, resigns.
- Washington Examiner reports House lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill to support carbon capture research.
- E&E Greenwire reports EPA plans to overhaul the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review program in the coming months.
- E&E Energywire reports new CEQ guidance rolling back key elements of an Obama-era instruction document could open legal vulnerabilities in NEPA reviews.
- Axios reports the president will give a speech on his administration’s environmental efforts today; this is viewed as odd by many given his track record repealing environmental regulations.
In the news today…
- E&E Greenwire and Politico Pro report investigators found no evidence that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt pushed NMA to weigh in against the Paris Agreement, although testimony from witnesses was conflicting.
- Politico Pro reports EPA said it has “concerns” about the Pebble Mine’s environmental impacts and criticized the Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental review as lacking critical information about the planned Alaskan copper and gold mine.
- Inside EPA reports EPA is proposing to decline financial responsibility requirements for the electric power generator sector under the Superfund law, saying the existing regulation of coal combustion residuals (CCR), the financial stability of the sector and other factors suggest a low level of risk that does not warrant a mandatory federal regulatory requirement.
- The Knoxville News Sentinel (TN) carries an op-ed from Chuck Laine in which he argues EPA’s ACE rule will help reduce emissions and hold down energy costs.
- US News reports tribal nations and environmental groups are afraid of a possible reversal of a ban on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon.
- The Hill reports 700 workers will be sent home when two Wyoming coal mines close due to bankruptcy.
- E&E Climatewire reports the Powder River Basin has seen extreme lows, despite it supplying 40 percent of the nation’s coal today.
- E&E Energywire reports New Mexico’s biggest utility wants to replace its stake in two coal-fired power plants with natural gas fueled plants.
In the news today…
- Colorado Public Radio reports analysis by the Sierra Club states that retiring Colorado’s coal fleet could cut carbon and save utility customers billions of dollars.
- The San Antonio Current reports the Sierra Club states San Antonio’s CPS Energy could save $1 billion from 2026 through 2040 by shuttering its coal-fired plants and switching to renewables.
- The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports the Tennessee Valley Authority will replace its coal plants with solar and gas generation according to it new 20-year power plan.
- The Lexington Herald Leader reports only 57 percent of surface coal mine permits in Kentucky were free of violations during oversight inspections in the most recent evaluation.
- West Virginia Metro News reports U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after an amendment on health care and pensions for coal miners was blocked.
- Politico Pro reports a senior DOE official told commissioners that FERC should recognize the spirit of the Trump administration’s plan to support struggling power plants by ordering a study of whether utilities keep enough fuel on site to maintain grid reliability.
- The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports a government watchdog group is suing the Trump administration for access to emails, notes and memos regarding its decision to renew two federal mineral leases for Twin Metals Minnesota.
- The Salt Lake Tribune carries a letter in response to an editorial on uranium mining in Utah; the letter argues in favor of uranium mining and states that the original editorial misrepresented the industry.
- Utility Dive reports Sen. Tom Udall introduced a bill that would establish a 50 percent renewable energy standard across the U.S. by 2035.
- Inside EPA reports EPA is seeking strict penalties against the utility Ameren Missouri in a long running Clean Air Act new source review permit program violation case, in which the utility was found to have a coal power plant that failed to obtain a necessary NSR permit.
- Inside EPA reports EPA is formally reopening its Obama-era proposal to block a Clean Water Act permit for the long-planned Pebble Mine in Alaska.
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.