Thanks to the Duluth News Tribune for carrying my op-ed in which I caution against Minnesota shifting towards a primarily wind and solar powered state and discuss the benefits of a balanced use of resources.
In the news today and from the weekend…
- Real Clear Energy carries an op-ed from Gerry Scimeca, vice president of Consumer Action for a Strong Economy, warning against the loss of fuel diversity on the grid given that increasing reliance on natural gas comes at the same time as growing natural gas exports.
- The Washington Examiner carries an op-ed in response to Mark Perry’s March 18 op-ed. In the response, Michael Bryson of PJM argues PJM used coal and oil over natural gas during the recent cold snap due to affordability and that retiring coal plants will not affect the ability of PJM to supply power to Americans.
- The Billings Gazette reports Rosebud Mine, under new ownership following the bankruptcy of Westmoreland Coal Co., appears to be on steadier footing and will continue to deliver coal to Colstrip Power Plant through the end of the year.
- The Insurance Journal reports cuts to the federal Black Lung Disability Trust Fund make taxpayers liable to pay for the difference.
- E&E News PM reports the Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta mine will close this year, after a Navajo Nation company’s bid to buy ended.
- Greentech Media reports a new proposal in Colorado which would supply securitization through bonds to help ease the closing of coal power plants and fund the transition of workers.
- E&E Climatewire reports a new report which suggests switching from coal-fired plants to renewables could save consumers money amid growing closures of coal power plants.
- Energy News Network reports a new study which finds that locally generated solar and wind energy could replace almost three-fourths of electricity supplied by coal plants at less cost by 2025.
- Gallup reports most Americans support reducing fossil fuel use, with coal being the least supported energy source with 50% of those polled responding they want less emphasis on coal production.
- Axios reports growing investment in carbon removal technology across numerous startups.
- WJHL reports Virginia coal mining jobs increased in 2018 for the first time in five years, while coal production decreased.
- E&E Daily reports the House Natural Resources Committee will search for best ways to help communities recover abandoned coal mines.
- The Denver Post reports coal production in Colorado decreased in 2018.
- E&E News PM reports EPA has advanced a proposed rule on “project emissions accounting” which would ultimately streamline the permitting process for the New Source Review permitting program.
- InsideEPA reports EPA’s proposal to scrap the Obama-era finding that its power plant air toxics rule was “appropriate and necessary” while keeping MATS could open new legal challenges to killing MATS overall.
- PoliticoPro reports Rep. Matt Gaetz is circulating a “Green Real Deal” resolution, which supports innovation such as carbon capture and storage technology, in response to the Green New Deal.
- PoliticoPro reports the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service released a report examining approaches to carbon taxes and emissions fees.
- Axios reports the International Energy Agency is close to releasing its latest analysis of global CO2 energy efficiency and carbon emissions.
- The Associated Press reports New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation mandating more solar panels and wind turbines as the state sets new renewable energy goals.
- The Minot Daily News reports Brian Davey, CEO of Brown Coal Innovation Australia, and Janet Gellici, CEO of the National Coal Council, will be the keynote speakers when the Lignite Energy Council holds its annual meeting April 24-25 at the Bismarck Event Center in Bismarck.
- CBS News reports major oil and gas companies have poured more than $100 billion into their fossil fuel infrastructure, more than 10 times the amount they have spent on low-carbon investments.
- E&E Climatewire reports the European Union pushed back a decision on fighting climate change, with some countries opposing a pledge to end most emissions from greenhouse gases by 2050.
In the news today…
- WJHL reports coal mining jobs in Virginia have increased in 2018 for the first time in five years, but coal production has slightly decreased; despite this rise, coal mines still employ far fewer people in 2018 than they did five years ago.
- WBOY reports a West Virginia company re-imagining uses for coal as roofing tile which is lighter, more durable and less flammable than ceramic tile.
- Knox News reports TVA is considering a proposal from a Kentucky company to buy and continue operations of the Paradise plant.
- The Casper Star Tribune reports Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon calls for Wyoming to be “realistic and mature” about its reliance on tax revenue from coal, oil and natural gas, which could drop significantly.
- Argus reports coal-fired and nuclear generation in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) have continued to lose ground to natural gas and renewable sources this year.
- E&E Energywire reports investor appetite is back for lithium after months of uncertainty over prices and fears of oversupply for the mineral essential to power electric vehicle batteries.
- PoliticoPro reports Rep. Paul Tonko argues that relying on technological innovation to address climate change is insufficient and outlined his principles for climate legislation.
- InsideEPA reports carbon tax supporters are refining their policies in the face of skepticism from progressives of the effectiveness of a tax and opposition from most Republicans.
- E&E News PM reports the Federal Energy Regulation Commission is split about whether to incorporate greenhouse gas emission analysis into project environmental assessments.
Thanks to The Detroit News, a Gannett/USA Today newspaper, for publishing my new op-ed in which I explore whether Michigan could go to a 100% renewable scenario by 2050. Based on current technology, natural gas and coal are still necessary to meet Michigan’s baseload power needs, given that it is a heavy industrialized state.
In the news today…
- The Roanoke Times carries an op-ed by U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, in which he argues that the Green New Deal fails to address the needs of an effective plan countering climate change and endorses technology and “all of the above” energy policies.
- USA Today carries an op-ed by Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, in which he argues that Sens. Murkowski and Manchin present pragmatic climate solutions that invest in communities.
- Grist reports coal miners are switching over to green energy jobs in southeast Kentucky due to the closure of coal mines in the area.
- Grand Forks Herald reports North Dakota is eligible to receive more than $2.8 million in grant funds as part of a grant package Acting Interior Secretary Bernhardt announced Tuesday for states and tribes to reclaim and repurpose abandoned coal mine lands.
- E&E Greenwire reports the DOI has offered $291.2 million this year as part of its annual mandatory grant program to help clean up former coal mines.
- Politico reports the White House has dropped plans to nominate a veteran lawyer to serve on a key federal energy panel after pressure from Energy Secretary Perry and major coal companies headed by allies of President Donald Trump, two people familiar with the effort told POLITICO.
- S&P Global Market Intelligence reports major U.S. coal producers that bit the bullet early and filed for bankruptcy a few years ago are now enjoying the benefits of improved coal markets and clean balance sheets, but the companies that avoided that first wave of reorganizations now find themselves particularly stressed by declining domestic demand.
- Argus reports coal producer Paringa Resources has received a $56 million loan to accelerate expansion of its Poplar Grove mine in Kentucky.
- MagicValley.com reports Idaho Power Co. is close to eliminating coal from its energy sources with plans to cut ties with its three remaining coal-fired plants.
- Arizona Central reports Peabody Energy laid off about 40 miners, about 12 percent of its mine’s workforce, at the Kayenta mine in Arizona last month in preparation for the mine’s closure later this year.
- Billings Gazette reports labor unions support a Republican bill hoped to save the coal-fired Colstrip Power Plant by allowing a South Dakota utility to buy a bigger stake in it despite opposition from consumer advocates.
- The Associated Press reports the black lung fund is in jeopardy and taxpayers could foot the bill, despite insistence from the Trump administration and industry allies that the fun will continue to pay benefits to sick miners.
- InsideEPA reports EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is prioritizing water issues over climate change, but the agency’s broad water policy agenda is mired in major Clean Water Act fights over scope and strength of water permits.
- InsideEPA reports environmentalists are urging EPA to abandon its proposal to revise new source performance standards limiting greenhouse gases from new coal plants.
- E&E Greenwire reports former Reps. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) urged Congress Wednesday to pass a broad infrastructure package. Shuster, who chaired the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Crowley, who led the House Democratic Caucus, made the pitch to President Trump and Congress at a Bipartisan Policy Center event on infrastructure funding.
- Politico Pro reports Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is working on an overhaul of the energy bill she has introduced in each of the previous two Congresses, a top committee staffer said at a conference today.
- Washington Examiner reports a new poll out Wednesday from the American Energy Alliance shows that voters may favor pieces of the “Green New Deal,” but in the end the majority doesn’t want to pay for it. Forty-eight percent “oppose” the 2030 fossil fuel mandate, while 44 percent support it.
- E&E Energywire reports people who live near wind turbines almost always prefer them to a hypothetical power plant that uses fossil fuels, according to a new survey carried out by University of Delaware researchers.
- Washington Examiner reports Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued a framework to address climate change, developed over a year and a half, which would set a target of net-zero emissions by 2050 and an undetermined price on carbon emissions. The plan also includes policies, such as funding research on carbon capture technologies, that have been supported by some Republicans on the committee.
- Axios reports Carbon Engineering has brought in $68 million worth of private equity to commercialize technology that pulls carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, marking the biggest private investment into a company seeking to deploy “direct air capture” systems.
In the news today…
- The Associated Press reports the federal funds for black lung treatments are being drained due to inaction by Congress through tax cuts.
- Australia’s Mining Monthly reports that Peabody Energy CEO Glenn Kellow sees technology as the key to coal’s future.
- Yellowhammer reports the met coal industry is booming and essential to the economic success of Alabama’s Port of Mobile.
- The Daily Sentinel reports a federal agency has approved a proposal to let the West Elk Mine produce coal from beneath 1,700 acres of national forest roadless acreage in the North Fork Valley, Colorado.
- Gillette News-Record reports the U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta toured coal-mine sites and praised the industry, making statements on how to best achieve sustained growth in mining.
- E&E Energywire reports the Trump administration may invoke the Defense Protection Act to keep coal plants alive in order to promote grid resilience in the marketplace.
- The Casper Star Tribune reports Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon vetoed a coal export terminal bill due to concerns over the Legislature’s ability to pursue independent legislation.
- Washington Examiner Daily on Energy reports 19 states are opposing EPA on the roll-back of Obama-era emission rules for new coal plants which requires new plants to include carbon capture technologies.
- E&E Energywire reports the Department of Energy is pushing IRS to release guidance which would promote tax incentives for the carbon capture, utilization and storage industry.
- E&E Climatewire reports President Trump’s top economic adviser Ken Hassett holds that a carbon tax would be an effective way to address greenhouse gas emissions.
- Greentech Media reports thirty-three banks invested a combined $1.9 trillion in fossil fuel companies since 2015, the year of the Paris climate accord.
- PoliticoPro reports the White House has dropped plans to nominate David Hill to a seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission after pressure from Energy Secretary Rick Perry and from major coal companies headed by allies of President Donald Trump.
- InsideEPA reports industry groups are pushing for a decision on the legality of the Clean Water Act’s WOTUS rule in order to better define “waters of the United States” and end the patchwork of policies on the law’s reach.
- InsideEPA reports small business groups support the EPA’s plan to narrow the Clean Water Act’s reach but lack consensus on whether the agency’s proposal achieves that goal, with some urging for major changes to provide greater clarity.
- The Financial Times reports the first deep coal mine in the UK for more than 30 years was given the go-ahead on March 19.
In the news today…
- E&E Greenwire reports on EPA’s public hearing on MATS, noting the majority of speakers were in favor of keeping MATS.
- PoliticoPro and E&E News PM report a bipartisan group of senators asks EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to not change MATS rule.
- InsideEPA reports a coalition of at least 23 states says EPA lacks Clean Air Act authority for its proposal to scrap MATS rule because the law generally bars reconsideration of such findings and the agency’s justification for the rollback fails to meet the requirement for reversal. NMA is mentioned.
- PoliticoPro reports EPA won’t extend the public comment period for its proposal to sharply restrict the number of streams and wetlands that receive Clean Water Act protections.
- E&E News PM reports the Trump administration plans to cancel $287 million at the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy to close out the program by 2022. Research slashed includes carbon capture and storage research.
- The Gillette News-Record reports the U.S. Secretary of Labor is touring coal mines in Wyoming, such as Peabody Energy Corp.’s North Antelope Rochelle coal mine.
- Argus reports U.S. thermal coal producer Cloud Peak Energy may file for bankruptcy as it delayed making a $1.8 million interest payment to evaluate its options.
- The Columbus Dispatch reports Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed budget would restore $5 million for a coal-mining reclamation fund that had been raided in 2017.
- The Casper Star Tribune reports a new study from the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis warns of continued hard times for coal mining in Wyoming.
- The Washington Examiner carries an op-ed by Mark Perry, AEI scholar and professor at University of Michigan Flint, in which he connects the decline of coal with impending power shortages due to coal’s reliability.
- E&E Climatewire reports rural electric cooperatives have sharply increased their solar capacity in recent years as they transition from coal contracts
- The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis reports last year natural gas generation surpassed coal-fired generation for the first time.
The left is like the boy who cried wolf and Chicken Little. We need the Green New Deal because the world will end in 12 years if we don’t do something, they cry.
Fox News carries this post by Maxim Lott which details 10 (actually only 9, no. 5 was skipped in the article–I’ll post an update if the article is corrected) instances where the experts predicted the world would end by a date certain. Last time I checked, we are still here. Here is a list (read the article for details):
1.– GLOBAL WARMING TO WIPE NATIONS “OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH” IF CLIMATE CHANGE NOT ADDRESSED BY YEAR 2000
2.– MASS STARVATION BY 1975
3.– GLOBAL FREEZING AS DANGEROUS AS NUCLEAR WAR
4.– MASSIVE WARMING BY THE YEAR 2000
6.– AL GORE SAYS 10 YEARS ARE LEFT IN 2006
7.– ENVIRONMENTAL CATASTROPHE WILL CAUSE “NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST” BY THE YEAR 2000
8.– MASS EXTINCTION BY 1995
9.– METALS DEPLETED BY 1990
10.– THE REAL REASON?
Good Tuesday Morning!
Over at the National Review, Travis Kavulla & Marsha Smith have written a thoughtful piece on why we need to base renewable energy prices on competition, not government estimates. It is well written and spot on.
Both Travis and Marsha are former colleagues of mine. Travis is a former Republican commissioner of the Montana Public Service Commission and now the director of energy and environment policy at the R Street Institute. Marsha is a retired Democratic commissioner of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. They are both past presidents of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.
In the news today and from the weekend…
- S&P Global Platts reports global thermal coal demand is expected to increase in coming years, but whether supply will be able to match remains questionable.
- S&P Global Platts reports significant restraints for the global coal industry, such as access to capital, lack of capital discipline and negative public perception.
- The Farmington Daily Times reports the San Juan mine could continue to provide coal until 2033, based on a recommendation from the final Environmental Impact Statement for the mine’s Deep Lease Extension.
- Greentech Media reports Germany is looking to reuse coal plants as energy storage assets for batteries.
- The Associated Press reports Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon vetoed a bill that would have authorized the state to sue Washington over its rejection of a proposed coal export terminal, saying the state should have “a coherent approach” to the issue.
- Energy News Network reports Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam vetoed legislation which would have kept Virginia out of carbon-cutting initiatives such as a program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants unless approved by two-thirds of the General Assembly.
- The Washington Examiner reports the new FERC member Bernard McNamee wants to prove he’s not simply a rubber stamp for Trump’s mission to save coal and nuclear plants, and is now bullish about renewables.
- WV Metro News reports Gov. Jim Justice isn’t sure what he’ll do with legislation that would cut steam coal severance taxes over the next few years, stating it’s a really difficult position to be in.
- InsideEPA reports John Graham, deregulatory chief under President George W. Bush, says the Trump EPA may have opened themselves to litigation and needs to shore up on its efforts to roll back Obama-era climate rules.
- E&E News PM reports opponents of the Obama-era Clean Water Rule, WOTUS, are urging a federal court to expedite its review of the regulation and strike it down.
- PoliticoPro reports today will be the public hearing for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) to determine if it was appropriate and necessary to regulate mercury from power plants.
- E&E News PM reports House lawmakers from both parties are rallying behind legislation to give a tax break to coal projects looking to use technologies like carbon capture and sequestration.
- PoliticoPro carries an interview with ISO New England vice president for market operations Robert Ethier, who states that ISO New England does not regret the closing of its coal plants and asserts they have reliability despite importing natural gas.
In the news today…
- Real Clear Energy carries an op-ed from Retired Major General Robert Ratliff, in which he argues that the future of EVs and other green technologies is promising but our import reliance on the critical minerals that are their foundation poses serious strategic and economic risks.
- E&E News PM reports the Trump administration plans to advance two coal mine expansions in Colorado and New Mexico.
- Billings Gazette reports Republican lawmakers in Montana have filed new legislation preventing a South Dakota utility from charging its customers more than $40 million for the operating costs of a troubled coal-fired power plant it hopes to buy for $1.
- Casper Star Tribune reports the fate of a coal export bill that gives Wyoming lawmakers the option to hire private lawyers to sue Washington State remains uncertain.
- PoliticoPro reports the coal industry is feeling pressure from the divestment movement.
- Bloomberg reports Vistra CEO Curtis Morgan stating the end of fossil fuels, as covered at CERAWeek.
- E&E Greenwire reports EPA has announced three long-term goals for cleaning up the Bonita Peak Mining District Superfund site in southwestern Colorado.
Green New Deal:
- Axios reports Top House Republicans are urging Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to hold hearings on the Green New Deal as they seek to cast the progressive policy as bad for poor Americans.
- The Hill reports Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) set a procedural vote on the Green New Deal resolution in the chamber for the week of March 25. The bill would need 60 votes to move forward, which is not seen as likely through its lack of Republican support and a plan by Democrats to vote “present” on the resolution.
- E&E Energywire reports operators of the nation’s electric power networks are struggling to catch up with changing generation and fuel sources, technologies, and threats.
- The Washington Examiner reports FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee is assessing whether the grid has resiliency as it transitions into renewables.
- Argus reports the U.S. Department of Energy is offering up to $30 million in funding for research projects studying carbon capture systems at coal and natural gas plants.
- Utility Dive carries an article which purports a clean energy system, including the use of carbon capture and sequestration, will be much cheaper than a system based entirely on renewables.
- Utility Dive reports Kansas City pledges a carbon-free government by next year.
- Wisconsin State Journal reports Madison Gas & Electric has successfully rejected a resolution from its shareholders to transition away from coal and be on 100% renewable energy by 2050.
In the news today…
- E&E Greenwire reports the Millennium Bulk Terminals, a 44-million-ton coal export terminal proposed in Washington state, is a flashpoint between states that extract natural resources and those that export them.
- E&E Daily reports the Trump administration directed mapping specialists at the Bureau of Land Management to exclude coal deposits from the revised boundaries of a Utah national monument.
- Houston Chronicle and Utility Dive report the Trump administration continues to look at steps to stop coal and nuclear power plants from closing, but states are encouraged to take action.
- Ars Technica reports without federal help, local governments are also attempting to save coal plants with different results around the country.
- PoliticoPro reports the Trump administration is preparing guidance for companies to qualify for a carbon capture tax credit.
- E&E News PM reports Michigan is pulling out of litigation targeting the Obama-era Clean Water Rule.
- E&E Greenwire reports EPA pledged $16 million annually to clean up the Tar Creek Superfund Site in northeastern Oklahoma.
- InsideEPA reports the DOJ is urging federal courts to avoid cases on the scope of the Clean Water Act until it finalizes a rule to narrow a policy on the law’s reach.
- InsideEPA reports EPA has decided to split its plan to essentially exempt most coal-fired plants from NSR permitting requirements from its broader final ACE rule to limit coal plant emissions.
- E&E News PM reports Energy Secretary Rick Perry believes American innovation is the future of our electricity system.
In the news today…
- Bloomberg reports Acme Equities LLC is in talks to buy the San Juan Generating Station for $1 to avoid the loss of about 1,600 jobs in the area.
- Utility Dive reports Wyoming passed a coal support bill to save ailing plants by encouraging the sale of coal-fired power plants instead of retiring them.
- The Birmingham Business Journal reports the Alabama coal industry posted record gains in met coal exports in 2018.
- The State Journal reports the West Virginia Legislature passed a coal tax rebate program designed to boost production by making it easier to procure new equipment.
- Farmington Daily Times reports the support, opposition and uncertainty surrounding decisions to acquire the Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine in Arizona.
- The Washington Examiner reports Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin don’t support a carbon tax.
- Greentech Media reports New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is expected to sign a bill to commit New Mexico to carbon free electricity by 2045.
- Minnesota Public Radio reports Minnesota utilities are pushing back on the 100% carbon-free energy proposal because they oppose state mandates.
- InsideEPA reports a federal appellate court is slated to hear arguments today, March 13, on whether the Trump EPA was justified in discarding a proposed rule to set first-time Superfund financial requirements for the hardrock mining sector.
- Chron and InsideEPA report EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler claimed that U.S. fossil fuels were “cleaner” than those from other countries and encouraged foreign customers to buy American oil, coal and natural gas.
- The Washington Examiner reports the emphasis on coal, nuclear and national security over renewable energy and climate change in President Trump’s 2020 budget.
- E&E Daily reports six numbers to note in Trump’s fiscal budget on energy and the environment.
Mine Reclamation and Solar Power:
Thanks to the Colorado Springs Gazette for carrying my new an op-ed in which I discuss the necessity of energy diversity in Colorado. Conclusion: natural gas and coal — particularly with newer systems to enhance efficiencies and reduce emissions — are still necessary to meet Colorado’s considerable baseload power needs.
In the news today…
- Argus reports West Virginia lawmakers have passed two bills aimed at easing coal producers’ tax burdens.
- E&E Daily News reports the White House has remained silent in the face of demands from union miners concerning mounting pension problems.
- Argus reports Wyoming governor Mark Gordon has signed legislation designed to extend the lives of coal-fired plants in the state.
- The Salt Lake Tribune reports $53 million is being invested in ‘throughput infrastructure’ in Utah to support loans that promote projects for moving Utah coal, oil and natural gas to markets.
- E&E Energywire carries a report questioning whether states and cities can meet their 100% renewable energy goals considering the technology is not yet available.
- PoliticoPro reports the Trump administration has dropped its bid to delay implementation of the WOTUS rule, ensuring a patchwork of Clean Water Act regulations across the country for the time being.
- InsideEPA reports chemical industry officials are acknowledging that the revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) does not go as far as they had hoped in preempting state rules and are seeking to assure local regulators and consumers that EPA’s implementation of the new law will mitigate risks and the growing regulatory and retail patchwork.
- E&E News PM reports President Trump’s budget request includes $200 billion for “infrastructure priorities”.
- PoliticoPro reports the Trump administration’s Interior Department budget request recommends slashing spending across a number of programs, including the National Park Service, wildfire management and conservation efforts, while boosting offshore energy and onshore coal development funding.
- Reuters reports China expands its transition from coal to gas based fuel, even as it incorporates more ultra-low emissions technology at more than 80 percent of its total coal-fired power generation capacity.
In the news today and from the weekend…
- American Thinker carries an article breaking down the Green New Deal to show it is unfeasible.
- The Washington Post carries an op-ed from Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and West Virginia Rep. Joe Machin, in which they say it’s time to “responsibly” act on climate change
- CNBC reports, while Trump has not revived the coal industry, employment for miners has held steady during the two years of his presidency, halting the employment drop over the past 30 years.
- Metro News WV reports coal miners gathered outside the Senate chamber Saturday morning to celebrate passage of two bills aimed at boosting the state’s coal industry.
- Wyoming Public Media reports lawmakers in Wyoming push for legislation to slow coal plant closures.
- WVPB reports a bipartisan group of West Virginia Senators has introduced a resolution that would task a legislative committee with studying the state’s black lung epidemic and why it is on the rise, especially in younger miners.
- E&E Climatewire reports on the struggle for rural electric cooperatives to transition away from coal. Part one of two.
- E&E Energywire reports Rep. Lizzie Fletcher fights to call for climate action while defending fossil fuel industries in Texas.
- InsideEPA reports EPA has voluntarily withdrawn its appeals of federal district court rulings striking down its delay of the Obama-era Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule, cementing for now a nationwide “patchwork” of regulations on the law’s scope that will persist until the White House finalizes a policy to repeal or replace the 2015 jurisdiction rule.
- E&E News reports states will no longer have to require power plants and other large polluters to track their summertime releases of nitrogen oxides through “continuous emission monitoring systems,” under an EPA rule that takes effect today.
- E&E Daily News reports top officials from three federal agencies — the departments of Agriculture, Energy and the Interior — will testify tomorrow before a House Natural Resources subcommittee on the Trump administration’s wide-ranging “energy dominance” agenda.
Carbon Capture Technology:
- Inc. reports a new Texas power plant which will burn fossil fuels and emit zero carbon emissions, thanks to carbon capture and storage technology.
- Energy News Network reports plans to “re-energize” a coal mine in southwestern Virginia as a solar farm was accepted with the full $500,000 in federal funds requested last year
- WUSF reports a pair of bills have been filed in the Florida legislature that would mandate the state transition to renewable energy by 2050.
- Tampa Bay Times reports Tampa Electric is transitioning from coal power to natural gas, but environmentalists are pushing for a faster transition to renewables.
I would like to introduce readers to Paul Driessen. Paul is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and author of articles and books on energy, environmental and human rights issues. I am happy to post his latest article below. It is a thoughtful take on the Green New Deal and climate change.
Democrats, climate campaigners and renewable energy interests are in full outrage mode over news that President Trump intends to launch a Presidential Committee on Climate Science. He should do it now.
The PCCS would, at long last, review and question the “dangerous manmade climate change” reports by federal agencies and investigations funded by them. The committee would be led by Dr. Will Happer, a highly respected scientist and well known skeptic – not of climate change, but of manmade climate chaos. He would be joined by other prominent experts – of whom there are many – who share his doubts.
No way! the climate alarmists rant. How dare you question our disaster claims? Our settled science?
No! How dare YOU use those claims to justify your agenda – and your continued efforts to bludgeon and silence us into submission – without letting anyone examine, much less debate, your supposed evidence?
For years, you have loudly and incessantly asserted that the United States and world must end fossil fuel use, or we are “doomed.” Now you’re demanding that the United States completely upend its energy production, transportation and manufacturing sectors, housing and office buildings, and entire economy. You want the federal government to control and limit our lives, choices and living standards – and redistribute our wealth, even to those “unwilling to work,” according to confiscatory socialist principles.
For years, you Democrats, environmentalists, Deep State bureaucrats, government-grant-dependent scientists, news and social media have colluded to censor and silence manmade climate chaos skeptics, and stifle any debate. All of you have huge financial, reputational and power stakes in this.
And still you insist that the science is settled, that there is no room for discussion, that we must act immediately to “save the planet” from climate and extreme weather disaster. Now you want to wrap up your kangaroo court proceedings – with our side given no opportunity to present our evidence, defend fossil fuels and carbon dioxide, examine your alleged evidence, or cross-examine your experts.
If your evidence is so solid and unimpeachable, you should be more than happy to lay it on the table, subject it to scrutiny, question our experts, and let us question yours – extensively and mercilessly.
After all, the future of our planet is at stake – or so you claim. The future of our country certainly is.
Your radical agenda and actions are un-American, totalitarian, anti-science, and contrary to our most fundamental principles of open, robust debate – on one of the most critical issues in US history.
A large majority of Americans believe our planet has warmed and is warming. No one denies that. And thank goodness, or we’d still be stuck in the Little Ice Age. But that’s not the issue. The issues are: Is any likely future warming going to be disastrous? And are humans and fossil fuels to blame?
You claim the answer is Yes. Again, where is your proof? If you have any actual evidence, lay it on the table. Show us exactly where the natural forces that have driven countless climate changes throughout history end – and where the human factors begin. Quantify them. Don’t give us computer models that simply reflect the assumptions that went into them. Present solid, Real World evidence. If you have any.
While you’re at it, you also need to prove that dismantling America’s energy and economic system will make one whit of difference in our climate and weather (assuming for the sake of argument that human carbon dioxide emissions now drive climate and weather) – when China, India and other countries are building thousands of coal and natural gas fueled power plants, and millions of cars and trucks.
Their emissions already dwarf ours. And they are not going to give up fossil fuels for decades, if ever.
Prove your GND energy system can actually power America, without destroying jobs, living standards, manufacturing, health, prosperity and environment. As I have said over, over and over, it cannot be done. Your alternatives are not workable, affordable, green, renewable, ethical, ecological or sustainable.
Here’s just a few of the Real World climate science facts that alarmists don’t want exposed or discussed.
Temperatures have risen by tenths or hundredths of a degree in recent years – less than the margin of error, and most of the “highest temperatures on record” have been in urban areas, where local manmade heat skews the data. We’re also experiencing record cold and snow in numerous locations.
The average prediction by 102 climate models is now a full degree Fahrenheit above what satellites are measuring. Michael Mann’s climate model could concoct hockey sticks from telephone numbers and other random numbers. Are we supposed to trust these models on critical energy policy?
Violent tornadoes (F3 to F5) averaged 56 per year from 1950 to 1985. But from 1986 to 2018 only 34 per year touched down in the USA on average – and for the first time ever not one did in 2018. The March 3 Alabama tornado was tragic, and the 2-mile-wide 2013 Oklahoma City monster lasted 40 minutes. But the 1925 Tri-State Twister was a mile wide, traveled a record 220 miles, lasted a record 3.5 hours, and killed a record 695 people.
Hurricanes becoming more frequent and intense? From 1920 through 1940, ten Category 3-5 hurricanes made US landfall; from 1960 through 1980, eleven; 1980 through 2000, ten; 2001 through 2018, nine. There is no trend. Moreover, Harvey and Irma in 2017 were the first category 3-5 hurricanes to make U.S. landfall in a record twelve years. The previous record was nine years, set in the Civil War era.
A warmer Arctic? The Washington Post did report that “the Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer, and in some places seals are finding the water too hot.” But that was in 1922!
Polar bear populations are the highest on record: between 24,500 and 28,500 or more of them!
Oceans cannot become “more acidic,” because they are not and have never been acidic. Earth’s oceans are slightly alkaline. That slight alkalinity has decreased slightly (from 8.2 on the pH scale to 8.1) over the past few decades. But they are not getting acidic … and won’t anytime soon.
Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is the miracle molecule without which most life on Earth would cease to exist. In fact, the more CO2 in the air, the faster and better crop, forest and grassland plants grow – and the better they can withstand droughts, diseases, and damage from insects and viruses.
In fact, a slightly warmer planet with more atmospheric CO2 would be tremendously beneficial for plants, wildlife and humanity. A colder planet with less carbon dioxide would greatly reduce arable land extent, growing seasons, wildlife habitats, crop production and our ability to feed humanity.
Millions of Americans are exasperated with Republicans like Congressman John Shimkus of Illinois, who recently whined that it’s “just not worth the fight anymore” to battle climate alarmism – and protect our nation and our children’s future. Elected officials like him need to get spinal implants, learn the Climate Facts, or resign and turn their seats over to someone who will fight for us. That’s why we need the PCCS.
It’s why they hope the President Trump we elected to clean out the Deep State … show why manmade climate chaos claims are pseudo-science … and Make America Great Again for decades to come … will demonstrate his toughness and leadership right now, when we so need him to.
We need to tell Mr. Trump: Please stand up to these Climate Totalitarians who want to destroy our nation, in the name of saving the planet from climate disasters that exist only in computer models, Hollywood movies, and self-serving assertions by the Climate Industrial Complex. Alarmists have controlled the climate narrative thus far. Now we need to give other experts a chance to weigh in, loud and clear.
Appoint your Presidential Committee on Climate Science now! Give sound, honest science a chance.
In the news today…
- The Washington Examiner reports the FERC, the nation’s lead grid regulator, is quickly becoming to go-to agency for addressing a whole range of major energy policy hurdles for the nation, while hanging President Trump’s energy dominance agenda in the balance.
- The Herald Leader and US News report the death of a coal miner in a accident at a West Virginia mine on Thursday, March 7. It was the third nationwide this year.
- GreenTech Media reports coal as a grid reliability during extreme weather, and questions where future resilience will come from.
- S&P Global reports Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, who wants to save the coal industry in his state, has about one week to decide whether to sign a bill that would require utilities to seek buyers for their coal-fired plants, rather than closing them.
- The Casper Star Tribune reports a carbon dioxide research program in Kentucky centered on carbon capture technology.
- InsideEPA reports EPA has finalized a rule easing emissions monitoring mandates for industrial sources of pollution to eliminate what it says are obsolete requirements, a move that is a win for several states and industry groups that sought the revision and that rejects concerns from environmentalists who claim the regulatory change will boost pollution.
- WVTF reports there are now more solar jobs than coal jobs in the state of Virginia.
- Frontline reports the Texas city of Georgetown is now running on 100% renewable energy.
- E&E Energywire reports lawmakers in New Mexico have advanced a bill that calls for the public utilities and rural cooperatives to source all of their electricity from renewable sources by 2045, in effect phasing out power generation fueled by coal and natural gas.
In the news today…
- Utility Dive reports Wyoming lawmakers last week passed a bill to encourage the sale of coal-fired power plants in a bid to extend their lives amid an industrywide trend of retirements, and Montana is considering a bill to increase ownership stake in the 2 GW Colstrip power plant.
- E&E Greenwire reports a bill, which aims to boost renewable energy production and phase out a major coal-fired power plant in New Mexico, is headed toward a Senate vote.
- Bloomberg ran an op-ed by Michael Bloomberg, stating his plans to bolster the Beyond Coal campaign instead of running for president.
- WTOP carries a piece from Simon F. Haeder, assistant professor at West Virginia University, in which he writes that any program moving the nation toward greener energy sources must include a lasting solution for coal miners, their families and their communities.
- Argus reports the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) was granted additional time to file its plan for decommissioning the San Juan Generating Station.
- Argus reports thermal coal prices unchanged across the board in mild over-the-counter trading activity on Monday.
- Argus reports coal producer Paringa Resources has started processing raw coal at its Poplar Grove mine in Kentucky and expects to make its first commercial deliveries later this month.
- NPR reports a contest in Wyoming to boost carbon capture technology in an effort to save coal.
Green New Deal:
- The Courier Journal carries an op-ed by Sen. Mitch McConnell on the harms of the Green New Deal.
- E&E Climatewire and InsideEPA report Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia recognize the dangers of climate change, but push for action that is pragmatic and emphasizes energy efficiency.
- PolitcoPro mentions a letter sent by the Carbon Capture Coalition, urging congressional leaders to recognize the role of carbon capture in climate legislation.
In the news today…
- WTVR reports recent polling suggest more Americans want to cut down on coal usage, with even Republicans divided on the issue.
- The Concord Monitor reports the Sierra Club and the Conservation Law Foundation have sued two utilities over a coal-fired power plant in New Hampshire, saying they are violating the Clean Water Act.
- The Washington Examiner reports scientists announced a potential breakthrough last week: a method for turning coal plant pollution into a new fuel itself for producing electricity and powering cars and trucks.
- Utility Dive reports the owners of the Navajo Generating Station say efforts to keep the facility online have stalled, and they are moving ahead with plans to decommission the plant by Dec. 22.
- Farmington Daily Times reports State Sen. William Sharer, R-Farmington, said Farmington could become the center of clean coal technology if Acme Equities acquires the San Juan Generating Station and installs carbon capture and sequestration technology on the plant.
- E&E Climatewire reports on Friday, the Washington Senate passed a bill that would require the state’s electric utilities to phase out coal-fired power by 2025 and transition to 100 percent carbon-neutral electricity by 2030.
- E&E Climatewire and The Star Tribune report Gov. Tim Walz has set an ambitious goal for Minnesota to get 100 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050.
- E&E Daily reports many congressional aides and agency staffers working to combat climate change are also investing for retirement in companies that are making the problem worse.