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Keeping It Green

(There's no Planet B)

Coal Industry News

Coal Smoke Choke


What the Coal Museum
Knows What Trump Doesn’t
The Coal Museum
Switches To Solar

Apr. 7, 2017 - The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum is switching to solar energy. It's in Harlan County, Ky., and depicts, quote, "the lives that revolve around the coal industry." And WYMT reports the museum gets its power from solar panels. Solar is just cheaper, saving thousands. Communications director Brandon Robinson admits it's ironic but adds coal is still king.

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Updated: July 12, 2019

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Coal Industry News

  • WildEarth Guardians File Suit to Stop Coal Mine Expansion
    Another Lawsuit Filed
    To Stop Mine Expansion

    July 5, 2019 The Daily Sentinel -Environmentalists have filed another lawsuit in a last-ditch attempt to stop a coal mine's expansion beneath some 1,700 acres of roadless national forest in the upper North Fork Valley.

    The legal action filed this week includes a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop Arch Coal from bulldozing roads in the Sunset Roadless Area in the Gunnison National Forest, building well pads there and drilling methane vent wells to accommodate underground operations by the West Elk Mine. The motion says legal counsel for Arch Coal recently indicated that work could start this week.

    Click now for the story.

  • Public Service of New Mexico Plans to Retire Coal
    PNM Plans Early Retirement of
    Coal Plant With Massive
    Addition of Solar + Storage

    July 1, 2019 Electric Light & Power -On July 1, Public Service of New Mexico filed a plan with regulators in the state for how it plans to get to a 100 percent emission-free power by 2040. The utility reviewed four scenarios, all of which involved the early retirement of the San Juan Coal Plant, to arrive at its recommended path forward.

    Each scenario was modeled for both reliability and cost. They are outlined in the infographic you can see in the article.

    Click now for the story and the graph.

  • The Fall of World Coal Prices
    Worldwide Coal Prices Are Down

    June 25, 2019 Energy Central -Slowing economic growth in China is weighing on demand expectations for thermal coal in the world's biggest market for the fuel, while global moves toward cleaner energy are compounding problems arising from a glut in supply.

    This supply-demand tandem is likely to keep prices for coal used in power plants and the manufacture of cement under pressure in coming months and perhaps longer, industry sources said as Asia's biggest coal conference got underway.

    Prices for benchmark premium Australian coal out of Newcastle hit their weakest since September 2016 last week at $70.78 per ton and are likely to fall further given a slowing global economy.

    Click now to for more information.

  • Coal is Declining, But It's Still Popular
    Coal Remains Popular
    Worldwide, But Is In Decline

    Science Friday, May 17, 2019  -The latest investment report from the International Energy Agency was released this week, and shows that in 2018, final investment decisions were made to support bringing an additional 22GW of coal-fired electric generation online—but in the same year, around 30 GW of coal-burning generating capacity were closed.

    Coal plants are still under construction, and there are thousands of terawatts of coal-generating capacity worldwide, so the end of coal is nowhere in sight yet—but the investment report may indicate a tipping point in the global energy budget.

    Interested? Click to read or listen.

  • Despite Protests, Australia’s New Coal Mine Goes Ahead
    Australia Gives Approval For Work
    to Begin On Controversial New Coal Mine

    June 13, 2019 CNN Business -Environmentalists have been campaigning against it for the better part of a decade. For a time, it seemed they had won. But in mid-June the government of the state of Queensland cleared the way for construction to start on the Carmichael coal mine, owned by Adani, an Indian company. The project will open up the Galilee Basin, one of the world’s largest untapped reserves of thermal coal, the type used in power plants. Adani has already started work. It claims it could export its first coal to India within two years.

    Click now to learn more
    (If You Can Stand It).

  • China Keeps Upping the Ante on Coal
    Why Is China Placing A Global Bet On Coal?

    NPR News, Apr. 29, 2019  - China, known as the world's biggest polluter, has been taking dramatic steps to clean up and fight climate change.

    So why is it also building hundreds of coal-fired power plants in other countries?

    President Xi Jinping hosted the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing over the weekend, promoting his signature foreign policy of building massive infrastructure and trade links across several continents.

    Interested? Click now for whole story.

  • Coal Energy Is Being Surpased by R.E. in the U.S.
    April is Shaping Up to Be Momentous
    In Transition From Coal To Renewables

    Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, Apr. 25, 2019  - The future of the U.S. electricity generation industry may have arrived, and it is not good news for struggling coal-fired generating plants.

    This month, for the first time ever, the renewable energy sector (hydro, biomass, wind, solar and geothermal) is projected to generate more electricity than coal-fired plants, which totals about 240 gigawatts (GW) of still-operating capacity. According to data published this month in the Energy Information Administration (EIA) Short-Term Energy Outlook, renewables may even trump coal through the month of May as well.

    Interested? Click now for whole story.

  •  Setback for Trump on Coal Mining on Federal Land
    Judge Delivers Major Setback
    to Trump Policy to Increase
    Coal Mining on Federal Land

    NY Times Climate Forward, Apr. 19, 2019  -A federal judge late Friday delivered a significant setback to the Trump administration’s policy of promoting coal, ruling that the Interior Department acted illegally when it sought to lift an Obama-era moratorium on coal mining on public lands.

    The decision, by Judge Brian Morris of the United States District Court of the District of Montana, does not reinstate President Barack Obama’s 2016 freeze on new coal mining leases on public lands. That policy was part of an effort by the Obama administration to curtail the burning of coal, a major producer of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.

  •   Coal Industry Has Been Telling America: Kiss My Ash  
    Report: Coal Ash Contamination
    Widespread In U.S., PA.

    The Allegheny Front, Mar.5, 2019 - A new report finds coal ash pollution is leaking into groundwater at nine power plants around Pennsylvania and over 200 nationwide.

    The report, from the Environmental Integrity Project, found over 90 percent of sites that store coal ash are leaking levels of contamination exceeding EPA health standards.

    Click to listen or read the story

  • Despite Trump's Coal Boasts The Industry is Failing
    TVA’s Envisioned Flexibility
    Options in Wake of Coal Plant Closure

    Feb. 20, 2019 Energy Central -Much was made in the past few weeks after President Trump took to Twitter to try and drum up support for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to keep open a struggling coal-powered plant, with the TVA Board ultimately voting to close the no-longer-economic plant.

    This story caught many people's attention because of the direct hand the President attempted to play in his continued support for coal-fired generation before ultimately being shunned by the power provider itself, but the bigger story laying underneath this higher-profile one was the full TVA Draft 2019 Integrated Resource Plan that accompanied this decision and provided a broad and deep outlook into the future of energy flexibility foreseen by the power provider to seven states.

  •   Toxic Ash That Can Poison Water and People, Too  
    Coal’s Other Dark Side: Toxic
    Ash That Can Poison Water and People

    National Geographic, Feb. 19, 2019 -On December 22, ten years to the day after a dike ruptured at a Tennessee Valley Authority power plant near Kingston, Tennessee, pouring more than a billion gallons of toxic coal ash into the Emory River, TVA took out a full-page ad in the local paper to congratulate itself and its contractors on a cleanup job well done.

    That same day, about 150 of the workers who actually cleaned up the spill gathered at the site, which is now a park with hiking trails, boat ramp, and ball fields. Standing in blue jeans and work boots near a homemade wooden cross, they commemorated a different aspect of the cleanup: their 36 coworkers who’ve died from brain cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, and other diseases.

    Click now for the tragic story.

  •   Coal Not the Only Culprit as CO2 Continues to Rise  
    U.S. Carbon Emissions Surged
    in 2018 Even as Coal Plants Closed

    NY Times Climate Forward, Jan. 8, 2019 - America’s carbon dioxide emissions rose by 3.4 percent in 2018, the biggest increase in eight years, according to a preliminary estimate published Tuesday.

    Strikingly, the sharp uptick in emissions occurred even as a near-record number of coal plants around the United States retired last year, illustrating how difficult it could be for the country to make further progress on climate change in the years to come, particularly as the Trump administration pushes to roll back federal regulations that limit greenhouse gas emissions.

  •   The Price We Really Pay for So-called Clean Coal  
    Hundreds of Workers Who Cleaned
    Up the Country’s Worst Coal Ash
    Spill Are Now Sick and Dying

    National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Dec. 17, 2018 - Ten years after the disaster at a Tennessee power plant, the cleanup crew is seeking justice. At the same time, the Trump administration is weakening protections for this toxic pollution.

    Michael McCarthy had a new job, a baby at home, and another on the way. At age 45, he was, by his estimation, “fit as a fiddle.” Then, three days before Christmas 2008, more than 1.5 million tons of coal ash, a byproduct of coal combustion, broke out of a Tennessee power plant, pouring into the Emory and Clinch rivers and covering 300 acres, including the small community of Swan Pond, with a thick gray sludge.

    The muck, which contained toxic substances such as arsenic, lead, mercury, and radium, flooded about two dozen houses. McCarthy’s home was not one of them, but he was part of the crew handling the cleanup, an effort that lasted years.

  •   Black Lung Disease Is Still Killing Coal Miners  
    Black Lung Disease Is
    Still Killing Miners. The Coal
    Industry Doesn't Want To Hear It

    Dec. 13, 2018 The Guardian -Today’s black lung rates are higher than 50 years ago, affecting men as young as their 30s, and in Kentucky their right to decent healthcare is being curtailed<

    This story caught many people's attention because of the direct hand the President attempted to play in his continued support for coal-fired generation before ultimately being shunned by the power provider itself, but the bigger story laying underneath this higher-profile one was the full TVA Draft 2019 Integrated Resource Plan that accompanied this decision and provided a broad and deep outlook into the future of energy flexibility foreseen by the power provider to seven states.

    Dr. James Brandon Crum was alarmed. For months, unemployed coalminers had been coming into his clinic in Coal Run Village, Kentucky, seeking chest radiographs.

  •   Coal Needs to Go - And the Sooner the Better  
    The World Needs to Quit Coal.
    Why Is It So Hard?

    Nov. 24, 2018 -Coal, the fuel that powered the industrial age, has led the planet to the brink of catastrophic climate change.

    An October report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on global warming found that avoiding the worst devastation would require a radical transformation of the world economy in just a few years.

    Click now for the story from
    the NY Times - Climate Forward.

  •   China: Put This In Your Coal Bin and Smoke It  
    Carbon Tracker Reports: 40% of
    China’s Coal Plants are Losing Money

    Oct. 12, 2018 CleanTechnica -Two-fifths of China’s coal power plants are losing money according to a new “revolutionary” satellite-based methodology designed to assess climate risk from fossil fuel plants launched this week by Carbon Tracker, which also showed that plant owners could save nearly $390 billion by closing plants in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

    center>Click to read more from CleanTechnica.

  •   Say ‘Goodbye’ to Coal Mining in the Hambach Forest  
    The People Show Who’s Boss
    in Germany’s Lignite Region

    Oct. 10, 2018  -Oct. 10, 2018 -The successful fight to save the Hambach forest in the heart of Germany's lignite mining region is an important victory in the face of the enormous challenge of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

    The report released on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) couldn’t be clearer: limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees means keeping fossil fuels in the ground.

  •   Community Solar Takes Over a Former Coal Plant  
    its Solar Former Coal Plant Now Home to Community Solar + Storage Facility

    Sep. 26, 2018 -On Tuesday, ENGIE North American and Holyoke Gas and Electric (HG&E) christened the largest grid-scale energy storage system in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. The 3-MW / 6-MWh system is integrated with the 5.6-MW Mt. Tom community solar farm, one of the largest community solar farms in the state. The solar farm went online in 2017.

    Both the solar and storage facilities are at the site of the former Mt. Tom Power Station, a coal and oil-fired generation facility that provided power to the grid for more than 50 years and closed its doors in 2014. Mt. Tom is about 90 miles west of Boston in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

  •   Another Coal Mining Operation Bites the Dust   
    A Hail Mary Attempt to Save the
    West's Largest Coal Plant Has Failed

    GizmodoSep. 21, 2018 -After a brief period of hope that it could be kept alive longer, the largest coal plant in the West is once again on track shut down at the end of 2019.

    The Navajo Nation, which is counting on the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) in Arizona to remain open, found potential buyers for the doomed facility back in July. However, those negotiations appeared to have failed because the two companies involved—New York-based Avenue Capital and Chicago-based Middle River Power—announced they were giving up Thursday.

    Click now for the rest of
    the story from Earther Gizmodo.


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