Peter Keavey, CME Group
Risk management is more important than ever in today’s coal market. Cheap natural gas (NYMEX Henry Hub Natural Gas futures prices remain below $3.00) is competing fiercely with coal in the electricity bid stack. The fight to be the low-cost generator has become even more competitive in recent years, as the efficiency of gas-fired generation has steadily improved, while coal-fueled generation has remained relatively unchanged. Proposed environmental regulations, including the EPA’s newly announced Clean Power Plan, which could lead to wide-scale coal plant retirements, are a major source of uncertainty for the future of the coal industry. While many threats to the coal business are difficult to manage, price risk – arguably the biggest determinant of profitability – can be effectively hedged using futures.
The ICSC has released a series of radio ads in Washington, DC on WTOP and WMAL. The text of the ads is…
“President Obama wants to eliminate coal, our cheapest electricity source, in a vain attempt to control Earth’s climate. Power costs will soar with millions of jobs lost.
Science does not support Obama’s actions. Climate will continue to change no matter what we do.
Moreover, developing countries emit the most carbon dioxide. But under the Paris Agreement they don’t need to make any reductions. So even if the UN’s science were correct, America’s sacrifice would be for nothing.”
Just a quick “FYI” – Cornerstone Magazine has published the Mandarin version of my recent article, “Returning Mined Land to Productivity Through Reclamation” to their website.
Editor’s Note: this recent article discusses the uneven playing field that exists for private and government agencies. We should all be asking the same question Mr. Driessen asks; namely …
Why should Volkswagen be investigated for emission deception, but not government agencies?
By Paul Driessen
The heat is on! Not the unusual winter warmth in much of the United States – but the unrelenting heat generated by propaganda and pressure campaigns that the White House, EPA, Big Green and news media are unleashing in the wake of the Paris climate agreement … and as a prelude to the 2016 elections.
Editor’s note: Paul Driessen’s latest article looks at the EPA-caused Animas River spill. There appears to be a total lack of accountability for government officials who are fully shielded from the legal ramifications of grossly negligent, abusive, and illegal activities, and (possibly) an ongoing cover-up.
Ed note: This article was originally published in Issue 2, 2015 of American Coal Magazine.
By: William Yeatman, CEI
On August 3rd, President Obama announced his administration’s signature global warming policy, known as the Clean Power Plan. In the simplest of terms, the Clean Power Plan empowers the Environmental Protection Agency to centrally plan the electric industry.
Don’t take my word for it! Top EPA political appointees have been candid about how the Clean Power Plan’s epochal purpose is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by “transitioning” all electricity generation to a “carbon conscious economy.”
Ed note: This article was originally published in Issue 2, 2015 of American Coal Magazine
By: Mark Gresswell, HDR
If we were to assess the future of the global coal sector from reading the mainstream press, we could safely assume that the last mine was about to close and that draglines and long walls would be museum artifacts within a decade. Thankfully some of us still analyze the fundamentals of commodity markets rather than just push an ideological position, unconstrained by the inconvenience of facts.
Jason Hayes was invited to prepare the cover article for the Winter 2015 issue of Cornerstone Magazine
By Jason Hayes, Associate Director, American Coal Council
Editor-in-Chief, American Coal Magazine
Nearly 8.2 billion tonnes of coal were produced globally in 2014.1 Although a great deal of activity occurs around the extraction of coal, a limited amount of land is disturbed during mining compared to total landmass. For example, Natural Resources Canada has estimated that less than 0.01% of Canada’s total landmass was used in metal and mineral mining in over 100 years.2 Similarly, Haigh estimated that mining affected 0.16% of the U.S.landmass from 1940 to 1971.3 However, even if mining affects a relatively small amount of land, its impact can be significant and the extractive industries have an ethical and often legal obligation to return land to productivity. …
On January 28th, 2016, Jason Hayes, Associate Director of the American Coal Council will join Ryan Flynn, Secretary of Environment and the Natural Resources Trustee, State of New Mexico on the US Energy Panel at the 16th Coaltrans USA conference in Miami, FL to discuss “How reliable will the provision of electricity be following the EPA Clean Power Plan?“
The ACC recognizes the importance of an open discussion of key regulatory issues such as these and welcomes the opportunity to meet and network with fellow energy industry professionals.
More information on this event is available on the Coaltrans website.
(Originally published in Issue 2, 2015 American Coal magazine, pg 42)
By: Hans Daniels, Doyle Trading Consultants
The coal industry is in decline. Total coal consumption in the U.S. has fallen rapidly since the high point of 1,128 mm tons was reached in 2007. Last year coal demand fell to 919 mm tons – the lowest point since 1992.
With utility demand accounting for over 90 percent of consumption, the steep decline is primarily due to a reduction in coal-fueled electricity generation. Since 2007, utility coal demand has dropped by 19 percent as inexpensive natural gas and stricter mining and coal-burning regulations have eroded coal’s market share. Other coal consumption sectors have fallen as well: