By Miranda Green
WASHINGTON, DC (April 19, 2018) – The Trump administration is looking into a Cold War-imposed statute to prop up U.S. coal plants, Bloomberg reports.
The administration is considering implementing the 68-year-old Defense Production Act, which was first passed by Congress in the midst of the Korean War as a way to nationalize an energy industry necessary in times of war.
The Trump administration aims to use the same statute to bolster long-struggling coal and nuclear power plants, various sources tell Bloomberg.
By Brett Samuels
WASHINGTON, DC (April 22, 2018) – Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt said Sunday he plans to increase transparency in how the department uses scientific analysis to create rules and regulations.
Pruitt told radio host John Catsimatidis that he’s found much of the research used to create EPA rules comes from third parties.
“One of the things that we’re changing here soon is to say, look, if third parties are used as the basis of rulemaking as we adopt rules, it’s important for the American people to have transparency on the data that was reviewed,” Pruitt said in an interview broadcast Sunday.
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Steve Milloy – Advisor, Necternal
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 ~ 2-3 p.m. Eastern
Interest in accelerating the development and deployment of technologies for CO2 emissions reduction is growing, as is the recognition that the cost of carbon capture and sequestration must be reduced to facilitate meaningful progress. Enhanced oil recovery is one strategy, and there are others such as direct air capture.
Scientific literature discusses the potential for terrestrial or natural carbon capture and sequestration, but ways to accomplish it have been elusive.
A new, next- generation USDA-certified “bio-based” agricultural/lawn care product offers promise. Replacing traditional fertilizers, it addresses environmental challenges caused by long-term use of fertilizers that have resulted in hard, heavily salted soils. It promotes plant growth, reduces water use AND increases soil carbon content. Recent testing showed an increase of soil carbon content of 30 percent in as little as three months.
Join us as Steve Milloy discusses this innovative solution for carbon sequestration and storage and the potential to store huge amounts of CO2 via cropland, farms, turf, aquaculture and timberland.
Register Today: http://www.eiseverywhere.com/334547
There is no charge for members of the American Coal Council, but pre-registration is required.
Non-members may register for a fee of $50.
The American Coal Council submitted comments on April 30, 2018 in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule on Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) from electric utilities.
ACC’s comments on CCR were made in the broad context of the importance of EPA providing regulatory certainty and clarity and removing barriers or impediments that might cause CCR units to be prematurely closed. Any such premature closures are likely to result in shutting down additional coal generating units. ACC discussed the status of coal plant retirements, including those attributed to previous EPA regulations and policies, and the need to retain the remaining U.S. coal fleet.
ACC’s comments urged EPA to proceed quickly to extend CCR rule compliance deadlines and adopt changes prompted by the WIIN Act legislation, and not to include boron in Appendix IV.
OSMRE is Now Accepting Nominations for the 2018 Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards
WASHINGTON, DC (Feb. 20, 2018) – The Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards are presented to coal mining companies that achieve the most exemplary coal mine reclamation in the nation. Past winners have demonstrated a commitment to sound mining practices and effective reclamation plans that enhanced beneficial post-mining use of the land. OSMRE has honored high quality coal mine land reclamation since 1986.
Award winners are recognized for developing innovative reclamation techniques or who have completed reclamation that resulted in outstanding on-the-ground performance. The awards program is designed to help state and Federal regulators transfer outstanding reclamation methods and techniques from award-winning operations to other coal mine operators who work under the Surface Mining Law nationwide.
Coal companies, regulatory authorities, state or Federal mine inspectors, interest groups, or landowners may submit nominations. Company officials and employees may nominate their own operations.
View previous Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards Winners.
A coal mining operation may be nominated for achievement in a specific aspect of reclamation, or for overall performance in meeting goals of the Surface Mining Law. All nominations should include on-the-ground results for however long the results have been in place. For example, a nomination for stream restoration should include several years of water quality monitoring data.
Good Neighbor Awards
Good Neighbor Awards are given to mine operators for successfully working with the surrounding land owners and the community while completing mining and reclamation. Nominations for this category should briefly describe the mining and reclamation operation (using both narrative and photos), and include testimonial letters and/or other documentation of a successful good neighbor policy.
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS
Electronic nominations are due to the appropriate regulatory authorities or the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) field office in non-primacy states by May 30, 2018.
Nominations will be screened by the regulatory authority (RA) points of contact for each coal-producing state or tribe. The RA will forward the best entries (a maximum of four National Awards, and two Good Neighbor Awards from each state), to the OSMRE field offices. Field offices will evaluate and forward the nominations to the OSMRE Headquarters in Washington, D.C., for judging in Summer 2018.
Questions about the awards should be e-mailed to Chris Holmes (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information: http:/www.osmre.gov/programs/awards/ActiveMineAwards.shtm …
By Jim Levesque
Houston (Feb. 28, 2018) – US coal carload volumes totaled 85,600 in the week ended February 24, down 2.7% from the previous week but up 0.9% from the year-ago week, the Association of American Railroads said Wednesday.
The total marked the first year-over-year increase in weekly volumes of 2018.
Cumulative volumes the first eight weeks of 2018 are down by 4.5%, or 31,000 carloads, from the same period a year ago.
Canadian railroads – which include the US operations of Canadian National, which serves several mines in the Illinois Basin, and Canadian Pacific – saw originations fall to 5,520 coal carloads, down 15.4% from the previous week and down 14% from the same week last year.
Canadian coal volumes year to date have slipped 3% from the same 2017 period.
By Tom Lutey
Cheyenne, WY (Feb. 21, 2018) – Montana and Wyoming attorneys general are pushing back on a proposed Washington state carbon tax.
Attorney General Tim Fox joined Wyoming AG Peter K. Michael in asserting that Washington cannot regulate environmental issues beyond its borders. Both states have coal-fired power plants owned by utilities selling electricity in Washington, where Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Jay Inslee are advancing Senate Bill 6203, a $10-a-ton tax on carbon dioxide from various sources including power plants fired by natural gas and coal.
“Washington state obviously does not have the jurisdiction to regulate environmental issues in Montana and Wyoming,” the Republican attorneys general wrote. “Yet the clear intent of SSB 6203 is to force non-Washington power generation facilities into compliance with Washington air quality regulations through the imposition of a tax on carbon dioxide emitted outside Washington.”
By Brady Dennis
Washington, DC (Feb. 12, 2018) – The White House is seeking to cut more than $2.5 billion from the annual budget of the Environmental Protection Agency — an overall reduction of more than 23 percent.
The fiscal 2019 proposal released Monday marks the Trump administration’s latest attempt to shrink the reach of an agency the president once promised to reduce to “little tidbits.” The EPA already has lost hundreds of employees to buyouts and retirements over the past year, and its staffing is now at Reagan-era levels.
Under the latest budget, the agency would continue to shrink in size and ambition, leaving much more of the work of environmental protection to individual states. The administration said Monday that its proposal will help “return the EPA to its core mission,” reduce “unnecessary reporting burdens on the regulated community,” and eliminate programs that “create unnecessary redundancies or those that have served their purpose and accomplished their mission.”
Coal Age Staff
(Feb. 15, 2018) – China’s Qinhuangdao port started to cap thermal coal prices for FOB 5,500 kcal/kg coal at RMB750 per metric ton (mt) ($118.28/mt), following a request from China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Colder-than-normal weather in January resulted in strong thermal coal demand and a subsequent increase in prices. Spot thermal coal prices for FOB Qinhuangdao 5,500 kcal/kg reportedly reached RMB780/mt ($123/mt) recently.
These high prices and the potential for them to rise even further is likely what prompted NDRC to intervene.
“The price cap will have an impact from now until mid-March,” said Zhai Yu, northeast Asia senior consultant, Wood Mackenzie. “Demand for thermal coal will fall in February during the Chinese New Year holiday. But supply will also fall for the same reason. After the holiday period, demand will quickly return and restocking by gencos will add additional demand. Without the price cap, we do not expect prices for FOB QHD 5,500 to drop below RMB750 per ton until the middle of March, when the need for heating coal disappears.”
The price cap will be difficult to implement, Yu said. The measure impacts thermal coal prices, Yu explained, but it is only the power industry that has called for coal prices to be restricted. “As electricity tariffs are fixed, high coal prices resulted in big losses for the gencos in 2017,” Yu said. “Non-power industries aren’t so bothered by coal price fluctuations as their product prices are market-driven and can adapt accordingly.”
Coal Age Staff
(Feb. 22, 2018) – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy selected seven projects to receive $44 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development through the announcement, Design and Testing of Advanced Carbon Capture Technologies.
“These projects will advance competitive operation of our nation’s fossil-based power-generation infrastructure by reducing energy consumption and capital costs associated with next-generation carbon capture systems,” the DOE statement said.
The projects will target one of two areas: engineering scale testing of transformational solvent- or membrane-based carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technologies or designing a commercial-scale, post-combustion CO2 capture system at an existing coal-fueled generating unit. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the selected projects.