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Coal: The Next Chapter

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By Betsy B. Monseu, CEO
American Coal Council
The new administration in Washington, D.C., has a sharply different vision for the development and use of our nation’s abundant energy resources, including coal. These riches are seen as a strength, not something to be kept in the ground. They are viewed as a means to achieve energy independence and provide energy security.

This article is published in the “Commentary” section of the July 2017 issue of POWER magazine
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EPA Planning ‘Inside the Fence’ Replacement for Clean Power Plan

By Annalee Armstrong and Taylor Kuykendall
SNLImage result for EPA policy
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency appears set to replace the broadly scoped Clean Power Plan with a narrower rule requiring generators to make plant-specific thermal efficiency improvements to coal-fired facilities, according to a former transition team member for President Donald Trump and two industry sources familiar with the agency’s plans.

Myron Ebell, who advised the Trump campaign on environmental policy and is director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, told S&P Global Market Intelligence in a recent interview that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan replacement strategy is expected to follow an “inside the fence” approach to regulating power plant emissions, meaning generators would be required only to make changes within the power plant site. Two power industry sources said they have been told by EPA decision-makers that the agency intends to pursue this approach.

The new regulation is expected to center on increasing the thermal efficiency of individual coal plants as a means to reduce carbon emissions, both Ebell and the industry sources said.


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U.S. Coal Exports Soar, in Boost to Trump Energy Agenda, Data Shows

By Timothy Gardner and Nina Chestney
Image result for Coal exportsWASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. coal exports have jumped more than 60 percent this year due to soaring demand from Europe and Asia, according to a Reuters review of government data, allowing President Donald Trump’s administration to claim that efforts to revive the battered industry are working.

The increased shipments came as the European Union and other U.S. allies heaped criticism on the Trump administration for its rejection of the Paris Climate Accord, a deal agreed upon by nearly 200 countries to cut carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels like coal.

The previously unpublished figures provided to Reuters by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed exports of the fuel from January through May totaled 36.79 million tons, up 60.3 percent from 22.94 million tons in the same period in 2016. While reflecting a bounce from 2016, the shipments remained well-below volumes recorded in equivalent periods the previous five years.

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Coal Is Number One: Before Donald Trump Came Along, It Was Left for Dead

By Stephen Moore
American Spectator what was the number one source of electricity production in the U.S. during the first half of 2017? If you answered renewable energy, you are wrong by a mile. If you answered natural gas, you were wrong by a tiny amount.

According to the Energy Information Administration, which tracks energy use in production on a monthly basis, the single largest source of electric power for the first half of 2017 was … coal.  See chart.

That’s an amazing finding because liberals and especially environmental groups keep telling us that coal is a dead industry. They have ridiculed Donald Trump, and called him a liar, when he has said that he will revive the coal industry and the related jobs.

“The Coal Industry Isn’t Coming Back,” a New York Times piece assured us a few weeks after the election. “Saving coal is one promise he (Trump) won’t be able to keep,” the author predicted. The Financial Times was even more blunt in its headline last month: “Coal is dead; long live the sun.”

Let’s see if the left issues a retraction. Don’t hold your breath.
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Whitewashing the Impact of Regulations on Coal

By Dan Byers
US Chamber of Commerce

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The War on Coal is well and truly over, but a peculiar debate over its impact lingers on. Revisionist history is central to this debate, with some folks now suggesting that the coal industry was never in a two-front struggle against both a regulatory onslaught and cheap natural gas. Instead, they argue, it was a one-front war against natural gas all along. President Obama may have marshalled his regulatory agencies for battle, but who knew they were firing blanks?

The irony here is that those most committed to imposing plant-closing regulations on the coal industry during the Obama years now seem invested in convincing the public that the very same regulations were not a factor in coal’s decline.

This debate famously erupted during last year’s presidential campaign when Hillary Clinton walked back her “we’re going to put coal miners out of work” gaffe by blaming the “market” for any job dislocations (we addressed that episode here). The latest and most thorough example of this comes from a recent study by the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP).

CGEP is a reputable and prolific organization that contributes to a robust and healthy debate on energy and environmental issues. In the case of this particular analysis, however, the group employed a deeply flawed methodology to justify preconceived views on the challenges facing coal.

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America’s Next Energy Crisis

By Charles McConnell
Image result for energy crisisSome disasters arise unexpectedly, like an earthquake or massive storm. Others seem inevitable. Who didn’t see the 2008 financial crisis coming?

In hindsight, most of us.

In reality, most crises that seem inevitable after the fact often catch nearly all of us by surprise when they occur. The factors were obvious enough, but few people saw them coming together.

There’s a potential crisis that will seem predictable, after the fact. It’s better to take thoughtful consideration and positive action now and not say “I told you so” later.

Our electrical grid is being stretched to the brink. The U.S. is making itself less resilient against catastrophic failure from a major weather event or terror attack every day. Our infrastructure increasingly depends on much less secure, resilient and reliable sources of energy, like wind, solar or even natural gas. These sources do not provide the dependable availability of nuclear or coal.

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Real Energy Expert Destroys John Oliver’s Ignorant, Profanity-Laced Rant About Coal

By Rich Trzuzpec
Last month, HBO funnyman John Oliver spent an episode of his show Last Week Tonight delivering a profanity-laced rant demonizing coal, coal-energy advocates, and presidents of the United States who don coal-miner hard-hats.

He did so following the formula that Jon Stewart has used so successfully throughout his career: Be witty and quote a lot of apparent facts in order to back up your satirically-expressed opinion about any issue and hope your audience will accept you as an expert.

If nobody manages to have a voice loud enough to prove that your arguments are seriously flawed in the court of public opinion, you can relax. You’ve won. If somebody does manage to expose your errors in a meaningful way, you can always fall back on the escape hatch labeled: “Hey, I’m just an entertainer! I never claimed to be an expert on this stuff! Chill out!” Everyone criticizing you is thus a hyper-sensitive fuddy-duddy. You’ve won.

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The Left’s Misleading Green Jobs Claims: Renewable Energy Workers Produce Relatively Little Power

By H. Sterling Burnett
Washington Examiner
One of the main reasons President Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement is the treaty is a “bad deal for America.” Among many other problems, it would cost a significant number of jobs. In support of his claim, Mr. Trump cited a study by NERA Economic Consulting that estimates if the United States were to meet its carbon-dioxide emissions reduction obligations under the Paris climate agreement, it would cost the economy nearly $3 trillion and the United States would lose 6.5 million industrial jobs by 2040, including 3.1 million in the manufacturing sector.

Since Mr. Trump’s announcement, many advocates for staying in the treaty have either questioned the president’s claim about job losses or said green-energy technologies, especially solar, are engines of job creation that would benefit if the United States were to stay in the Paris agreement. They have argued there are now more jobs in the solar segments of the electric power industry than in the coal, natural gas and oil segments combined.

This claim is true — at least, in a limited sense. In absolute numbers, the U.S. Department of Energy reports solar power employed 43 percent of the electric power generation sector’s workforce in 2016, employing more than 374,000 workers who construct, assemble, sell or install solar panels. Fossil fuels combined accounted for just 22 percent (187,000) of the jobs directly tied to generating electric power.

Although there are a significant number of solar-related jobs, the often-repeated figures above are very misleading for numerous reasons….

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