In an increasingly carbon-constrained world, it is easy to overlook the positive contributions that modern coal activities make to today’s society. This is predominantly the case in the developing world, yet these impacts often go undetected by the media in the West. A lack of access to energy services is a barrier to tackling many aspects of poverty, including improving health and education outcomes, productivity and economic development. Worldwide, one billion people still suffer from energy poverty due to a lack of access to electricity.1 New energy investment must reflect local conditions, and it is no coincidence that countries afflicted by energy poverty have turned to coal-fired power. Furthermore, Western governments must not lose sight of the commitments they made to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to build better livelihoods for the world’s poorest (see Figure 1). This means recognizing the role of coal as a dependable and affordable source of electricity.
In March of this year, as COVID-19 began its upward climb, the State of Pennsylvania chose to include coal mining among its “essential” activities.
This decision presumably didn’t sit well with those wanting to ban coal altogether due to environmental concerns.
The problem with their position is two-fold.
First, we can’t get rid of coal. It is essential to this nation.
As Gov. Jim Justice of neighboring West Virginia said at the time, “Coal is so essential it is unbelievable. We have to have good electricity flowing into our homes.”
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released a report falsely accusing electric utilities of harming ratepayers. UCS alleges that harm is caused by utilities deciding on their own when to turn coal-fired electric generating units on and off, rather than leaving that decision to independent system operators (ISOs).[i] UCS has raised this issue of “self-commitment” (aka “self-scheduling”) before, as have the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations that are opposed to the use of coal to generate electricity.[ii] Each time this accusation is made, it has been refuted by grid operators, utility commissions, and utilities.
Well, it’s déjà vu all over again.[iii]
by Mike Nasi | June 05, 2020
The terrible situation caused by the coronavirus shutdowns across the world has led to an interesting experiment in air quality. What happens to the environment here and abroad when worldwide transportation and industrial production drop off significantly? Reading the news, the improvements seem to be significant. News reports with headlines such as “Coronavirus Got Rid of Smog” abound, and CNN posted some eye-popping before and after photos of cities such as New Delhi.
But photos can be deceiving. That CNN article compared a photo of New Delhi in March 2020 to one from November 2019, but for the one U.S. city it profiled, Los Angeles, it had to go all the way back to 1998 to find an appropriately smoggy photo. A closer look at the data shows how transportation and industrial production reductions don’t move the needle nearly as much in the already-safe American environment as they do in other countries with much more polluted air.
It sounds like a news report out of yet another dystopian novel: Mexico is halting grid connection for new solar and wind power projects. In a world rushing to produce clean energy, Mexico has suddenly stood out like a sore thumb. But, as usual, there’s more to the story.
Washington — US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Bernard McNamee will not seek another term after his expires at the end of June, potentially adding pressure on the White House to advance more nominees to maintain a quorum and a Republican majority at the commission. Read more here.
By Greg Walcher
“Governments should temporarily provide funding for new energy technologies so that they can become market competitive with traditional energy resources.” So the Global Energy Network Institute and other renewable energy advocates have been saying for decades. Taxpayers have been assured such subsidies would be “temporary,” just to “level the playing field” until the renewable industry is big enough to compete. When might that be?
The solar energy association says the U.S. industry has grown by more than 10,000 percent since solar tax credits began fifteen years ago, with an average annual growth of 52% over the last decade. Installations doubled in one year, with the industry now in all 50 states and a record 25 billion watts of new solar installations on order.
Congress and the industry agreed that this would be the result of “temporary” subsidies. Thus, the Solar Investment Tax Credit was created in 2005, to jump-start the emerging industry, with an agreement to wind it down in ten years when the industry was competitive. Predictably, in 2015 the industry said it needed just a little more time, so Congress agreed to a “temporary” extension. The agreement was for a 30 percent credit for residential and commercial solar systems installed before 2020. That amount would then ratchet down each year, phasing out by 2022. That was the deal, but sure enough, solar lobbyists are back before the first click of the ratchet, pressing Congress for another “temporary” renewal.
For More, Click Here.
Greg Walcher is the Founder and President of the Natural Resources Group and previously led the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. He is the author of Smoking Them Out: The Theft of the Environment and How to Take it Back.
The ACC’s Tomorrow’s Leadership Council (TLC) is designed to advance and vest executive talent in the coal industry. TLC is an annual program designed to provide a meaningful opportunity for up-and-coming executives to enhance their industry knowledge and networks through projects and activities that advance industry-wide objectives as well as professional development goals.
The TLC program, which launched in 2009, has had participation by 150 executives from more than 50 companies throughout the coal supply chain.
We welcome member and non-member companies to register their entry-level staff, mid-level executives, and those newer to coal for this one-of-a-kind professional development program. They will have the opportunity to meet and engage with others in the coal supply, consumption, transportation and trading sectors, as well as those working in companies that partner with and support these business sectors.
Participants benefit from professional development seminars, ACC conference attendance, special networking dinners and the opportunity to work on a collaborative group project with others in the program.
Additional program and registration information is available on the ACC website. Please also call or email Betsy Monseu, ACC CEO, at (202) 756-4540 or email@example.com Terry L. Headley, ACC communications director at (202) 756-4540 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or for more information.