Tag Archives for gas
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Issue 2, 2015 of American Coal Magazine (pg. 30-32)
In February 2011, I spoke at the Fifth Annual Energy Forum and Expo in Grand Junction, CO. As I ran through my presentation, I listed some of the pressures being applied to the U.S. coal industry. I also made sure to caution the many members of the natural gas industry that were present to restrain their schadenfreude over the coal industry’s current challenges. In the best of scenarios, I warned, they would have only a few short years before they began to experience the same destructive attacks.
The February 20th edition of the EIA Henry Hub spot price graph debunks the notion of imminently stable gas prices that ANGA CEO, Marty Durbin put forward in a blog post and video last week. The impact of the extreme cold temperatures that much of North America has experienced over the past several weeks has caused Henry Hub natural gas spot rates to spike up to almost $8/MMBtu in some areas and then settle out today at just below $6/mmbtu. At $8/mmbtu, we’re seeing an approximately 400% price swing in an 18 month period. (These prices were published in the February 20th edition of the EIA’s Henry Hub spot price graph)
A new article by Clean Air Markets President, Gary Hart describes what the coal industry can expect during the second term of President Obama. Gary discusses SO2/NOx, MATS, CO2, coal ash, cooling water intake structures, the DC Court of Appeals, and natural gas.
With the onset of a second Obama administration come changes in the key “players” within the organization. There is a morphing list of people who will implement environmental and energy policy—a new group of legislators who will bring new perspectives to these issues and even a handful of new jurists who may rule on cases that could have major implications for the future utilization of coal in the U.S.
This RealClearMarkets article suggests President Obama should drop green energy for “real energy.” The article is focused on natural gas, instead of coal, but it still makes some excellent points.
The bottom line: households have far higher electricity bills using alternative energy … This disproportionately affects low-income Americans, who spend a higher share of their income on energy. Data from Labor Department released last September show those in the lowest fifth of the income distribution spend an average of 24 percent of income on energy, compared to 10 percent of income for those in the middle fifth, and 4 percent of income for those in the top fifth. …
Jason Hayes, ACC Communications Director was quoted today in an AP story discussing the changing American energy diet and CO2 emissions.
Jason Hayes, a spokesman for the American Coal Council, based in Washington, predicted cheap gas won’t last.
“Coal is going to be here for a long time. Our export markets are growing. Demand is going up around the world. Even if we decide not to use it, everybody else wants it,” he said. Hayes also said the industry expects new coal-fired power plants will be built as pollution-control technology advances: “The industry will meet the challenge” of the EPA regulations.
This article by the Australian describes the rush to use coal across the planet as renewables fail to fill gaps and European natural gas prices remain stubbornly high.
Despite high hopes for renewables, the figures show the world to be on the cusp of another fossil fuel boom.
King Coal is refusing to die and, without a significant breakthrough in technology, the biggest energy future winner looks certain to be gas. […]
Cost blow-outs have forced rooftop solar programs to be wound back, wind projects face tougher planning regimes and heightened local community opposition.
While this Forbes.com article is looking at natural gas, the pride that Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobile, shows in his company’s ability to provide abundant, affordable, domestic energy to this country, is an excellent pattern for the coal industry.
Tillerson brushes aside environmental concerns as manageable and overblown. He regards the shale surge as unambiguously good news for the U.S. and the world, the latest triumph for an industry that periodically invents new ways to find and harness fossil fuels from the earth. “The most important thing for people to understand about shale gas is it’s just yet the next big resource opportunity for us,” he says. “The world’s economy has a voracious appetite for energy, so thank God we can do this.”
A March 2012 report by the UK-based Global Warming Policy Foundation is taking renewable energy to task, claiming that in addition to causing its own share of environmental damage, wind energy “is an extraordinarily expensive and inefficient way of reducing CO2 emissions” that will consume a “staggering £130 billion” in subsidies by 2030.
The study goes on to note that wind power is a “capital-intensive means of generating electricity” that must be matched with fossil or nuclear backing power equivalent to 80% of the capacity of wind being constructed. The report also describes how wind’s intermittent nature actually make it far less efficient to use this backing power because the wide fluctuations in production ensure backing power cannot be run efficiently. GWPF provides further descriptions of the problems with this scenario here.)
Roger Bezdek and Robert Wendling, authors of “the Impending World Energy Mess” have added to their list of publications with an interesting look into the “unforeseen consequences of dedicated renewable energy transmission.”
Published in the February, 2012 issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly, Bezdek and Wendling’s delves into the taboo subject of whether so-called green energy can compete against other, far more reliable and far less expensive energy resources without strict mandates.