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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: Nov.2, 2019

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Coal Industry News (within the year)

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  • South Korea Retiring Coal Plants Left and Right
    S.Korea to Close 6 Older
    Coal-Fired Power Plants by 2021

    Nov 1, 2019  (Reuters)—South Korea’s six older coal-fired power plants will be retired by 2021, a year earlier than previously planned, as part of the country’s ongoing efforts to curb air pollution, the prime minister’s office said on Friday.

    South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, runs some 60 coal-fired power plants, generating around 40% of the country’s electricity, but coal has been blamed for worsening air quality in the country.

    The six older coal-fired power plants account for 7% of the total installed coal power capacity, or 2.6 gigawatts, according to Reuters calculations based on data from Korea Electric Power Corp.

  • Another One Bites the Dust - Coal Dust, That Is
    Murray Energy Is 8th Coal
    Company in a Year to Seek Bankruptcy

    Oct. 29, 2019  (NY Times Climate Forward)-Murray Energy, once a symbol of American mining prowess, has become the eighth coal company in a year to file for bankruptcy protection. The move on Tuesday is the latest sign that market forces are throttling the Trump administration’s bid to save the industry.

    The collapse of the Ohio-based company had long been expected as coal-fired power plants close across the country.

    Its chief executive, Robert E. Murray, has been an outspoken supporter and adviser of President Trump. He had lobbied extensively for Washington to support coal-fired power plants.

  • South Africa Is Saying 'Bye Bye' to Coal
    Renewables In, Coal Out:
    South Africa’s Energy Forecast

    Oct. 18, 2019  (Bloomberg News)-In South Africa, solar and wind are in, and coal is gradually on the way out.

    That’s the key takeaway from the latest Integrated Resource Plan, which maps out the energy mix for the next decade. It envisions the nation’s total electricity-production capacity rising to 77,834 megawatts by 2030 — with the bulk of the increase coming from renewable sources — from about 52,104 megawatts.

    A switch to more green energy comes as South Africa faces pressure to meet emissions-reduction targets. State power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. produces about 95% of the nation’s power, the bulk of it from coal-fired power plants — many of which are approaching retirement and don’t comply with environmental standards.

  • Ol' King Coal - No Longer a Merry Old Soul
    Coal Has Always Been
    King In the South.
    Now That’s Changing

    Oct. 3, 2019 (Energy News Network)-Duke Energy Corp. is one of the largest coal burners in America. But the North Carolina-based utility’s coal fleet is running less and less, an E&E News review of federal data shows.

    In a sign of mounting economic distress, nine of the company’s 13 coal plants ran less than half the year in 2018. Eight of those facilities averaged annual run times of less than 50% between 2014 and 2018. Only two of the company’s coal facilities produced more electricity in 2018 than they did five years earlier.

  • Coal Champions Not Shy About Speaking Up at the U.N.
    Who’s Speaking at the U.N. Climate
    Summit? Several Champions of Coal

    Sept. 22, 2019 (NY Times Climate Forward) - In May of this year, on a trip to low-lying endangered Pacific islands, the United Nations secretary general, Antonio Guterres, made one of his boldest calls yet to the world’s presidents and prime ministers.

    Don’t build new coal plants after 2020, he said, and certainly don’t pay for them with taxpayer money.

    On Monday, when he hosts the Climate Action Summit, designed to highlight countries that are stepping up their commitments to avert climate change, some of the world’s biggest champions of coal will be allowed to take the podium.

  • Is China Serious About Green Initiative Pledges?
    Chinese Firms to Build More
    Coal Power Plants In Asia
    Despite Beijing’s Pledge For
    Greener Initiative Projects

    Sept. 18, 2019 (South China Morning Post) - China, which has pledged that projects built under its Belt and Road Initiative will be green and sustainable, will fund more fossil fuel power projects in Southeast Asia even as western, Japanese and South Korean financiers increasingly walk away from them over sustainability concerns.

    This will be the case until the host nations – such as Indonesia – have come up with good enough financial incentives and expanded power transmission and distribution infrastructure to make mass renewable energy projects viable, according to Martin David, Asia-Pacific head of projects practice group at international law firm Baker McKenzie.

  • Coal Ash: Not Just Deadly For Sealife
    Coal Ash Cleanup Allegedly
    Deadly for Tennessee Workers

    Sept. 13, 2019 (LOE.org)-In 2008, the wall of a pond holding a billion gallons of toxic coal ash slurry from a huge coal power plant owned by the TVA in Kingston, Tennessee suddenly collapsed. The spill contaminated 300 acres of land and required a massive cleanup project. Dozens of cleanup workers involved in have died, and hundreds more have fallen ill. Men’s Journal Senior Editor J.R. Sullivan discusses the fight for justice in the courts by the workers and their families.

    Click now to read or listen to the transcript.

  • G.E.: What Are You Really For?
    GE’s Climate Hypocrisy:
    Building Coal Plants While
    Touting Clean Energy

    Sept. 9, 2019 (National Resources Defense Council(NRDC))-General Electric, which boasts of being a clean energy leader, is quietly doubling down on the dirty energy of the past with plans to equip more than a dozen new coal-fired power plants in countries like Cambodia, Kenya, Poland, Pakistan and Vietnam, a report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council shows.

    These coal power plants would sharply increase carbon pollution, harming public health and leading to hundreds of premature deaths annually from the projects—if completed. The plants also could destabilize economies and would add billions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, worsening the global climate crisis.

    Click now and you’ll
    say “GEE Whiz” about G.E.

  • Coal Billionaires Have No Conscience
    How One Billionaire
    Could Keep Three Countries
    Hooked on Coal for Decades

    Aug. 15, 2018 (NY Times Climate Forward)-SYDNEY, Australia — The vast, untapped coal reserve in northeastern Australia had for years been the object of desire for the Indian industrial giant Adani.

    In June, when the Australian authorities granted the company approval to extract coal from the reserve, they weren’t just rewarding its lobbying and politicking, they were also opening the door for Adani to realize its grand plan for a coal supply chain that stretches across three countries.

  • PA’s Largest Coal Plant to Close Down Earlier
    Bruce Mansfield Power
    Plant to Shutter Early

    Aug. 13, 2019 (Allegheny Front) -Bruce Mansfield Power Plant, for years the largest coal plant in Pennsylvania, will be closing even sooner than planned.

    FirstEnergy Solutions announced the plant will close in November, almost two years before its previously-announced retirement date of June, 2021. About 200 people work at the plant. In making the announcement, the company said the plant was closing because of “a lack of economic viability in current market conditions.”

    In 2018, Akron-based FirstEnergy announced that FirstEnergy Solutions, its power-generating subsidiary, would de-activate the plant, in Shippingport, Beaver County.

  • WildEarth Guardians Sue 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  •   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.

  • 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.

  • What's With German Brown Coal?
    Germany's Current Coal Story

    Feb. 7, 2019  (Clean Energy Wire)-The future use of coal is at the centre of Germany's political debate on the energy transition and its efforts to mitigate climate change after the country has seen a stagnation in greenhouse gas emissions despite growing use of renewable sources.

    At the moment Germany is still the biggest producer of brown coal but closed down its last hard coal mines in 2018.

    If the government follows up on the proposal of its multi-stakeholder coal commission, the last coal plants and lignite mines could close in 2038. This factsheet compiles background information on the lignite and hard coal industry in Germany.

  •   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.

(More on the Coal's Not Clean Page)