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Williamson, WV Celebrates 50th King Coal Festival

The 50th King Coal Festival occurred over the weekend and was considered a rousing success.

Saturday’s festivities kicked off at 10 a.m. with over 50 vendors packing Second Avenue and Logan St. along with the vendors, all day entertainment from musical acts, the Lincoln County Cloggers and a kid zone.

Vendors from arts and crafts to food trucks, gourmet shaved ice, healthcare, and much more lined Second Ave. on both sides of the sidewalk. Later through the day the street became flooded with event goers and was considered a banner year.

Crowds gathered to take part in the 50th Annual King coal Festival. 

Photo: Josh Brown, Williamson Daily News

The festivities continued inside The Collective on Second Ave. as well, featuring a music exhibition from the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame and local author Paige Cook signed copies of her book.

Local talent took the stage through most of the day, with headliner and Logan native Brayden Williamson playing some bluegrass classics.

The Grand Marshall of the King Coal Festival, June Glover, was given the “Key to the City” by City of Williamson Mayor Charlie Hatfield. Glover, a former schoolteacher, lead the King Coal parade flanked by many floats, side by sides, fire engines and more.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com.

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Feds Want To Allow Competition If Railroads Can’t Make Deliveries On Time

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) is proposing a rule that would allow Wyoming industries that are served by a single railroad company to get service from competing railroads if customers can demonstrate consistently bad service. 

Travis Deti, executive director of the Wyoming Mining Association, told Cowboy State Daily that in other industries where there are companies competing with each other, the quality of customer service tends to go up and prices trend down. 

“Competition is always a good thing,” Deti said.

Both of the largest coal producers in the United States, Arch Resources and Peabody Energy Inc., operate large open-pit coal miles in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. And both have repeatedly reported in recent earnings calls their production has been impacted by rail service.

Bad Service

The Associated Press reports that the proposed rule would allow railroad customers who are served by a single railroad company — what the STB calls “captive shippers” — to seek out another company to serve them when their current railroad fails to deliver an average of 60% of its shipments on time over a three-month period.  

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com.

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DOE Announces $27 Million for Carbon Dioxide Transport Networks to Manage Carbon Emissions

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) has announced it is making up to $27 million available through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to support the transport of carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from industrial and power generation facilities, as well as from legacy carbon dioxide emissions captured directly from the atmosphere, to locations for permanent geologic storage or conversion to useful products. The CO2 may be transported by any single mode of transport including pipelines, rail, trucks, barges, or ships. This effort supports the development of a large-scale carbon storage industry, key to achieving the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic climate and clean energy agenda.

“The United States will need to capture and permanently store significant quantities of carbon dioxide emissions in the coming decades to reach the Biden Administration's decarbonization goals,” said Brad Crabtree, Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. “Meeting this challenge requires a substantial scale-up of our transport infrastructure that will not only support our growing carbon management industry but will serve to protect our communities and create good, high-wage jobs across the country.”

Brad Crabtree

A CO2 transport network is required to connect CO2 sources, such as industrial facilities and power plants, to targeted, suitable geologic formations where captured CO2 emissions can be permanently stored deep underground or to locations where it can be used as a feedstock to manufacture fuels, chemicals, building materials, and other products. To accommodate the expected rapid growth of the carbon capture and storage industry necessary to meet the President’s climate goals, we will need to significantly expand our current CO2 transport infrastructure over the next decade.

Carbon Dioxide Transport, Front-End Engineering and Design Funding Announcement

The funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will support front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies for regional CO2 transport networks to safely transport captured CO2 from key sources to centralized locations. The projects will focus on carbon transport costs, transport network configurations, and technical and commercial considerations that support broad efforts to develop and deploy carbon capture, conversion, and storage at commercial scale.?Funding of up to $3 million per FEED study is expected.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com.

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Coal Mine Safety Teams: Prepared for Life or Death Situations

Coal mine safety teams play a crucial role in handling dangerous situations and ensuring the rescue of miners in times of crisis. Training and preparedness are key factors in these high-pressure and stressful situations. The recent Southern West Virginia Fallen Heroes Mine Contest showcased the skills and capabilities of these rescue teams.

Mining disasters, although rare, pose significant risks to the lives of miners. When dangerous situations arise in a coal mine, safety teams are immediately called out and miners are evacuated. The ability of these rescue teams to effectively handle these situations could mean the difference between life and death for those who need to be rescued.

The Leer South Mine Rescue Team, captained by Chris Meade, participated in the Southern West Virginia Fallen Heroes Mine Contest. This challenging course tested their skills in various scenarios that simulated real-life mine emergencies. Navigating through limited visibility, the team encountered obstacles such as unsafe roads, the need for rescuing individuals, and high gas levels.

Harvey Ferrell, the problem designer of the course, emphasized the importance of problem-solving skills in these situations. The teams started with a blank map and had to tackle each situation as it arose. From clearing mine gases to pumping water and adding roof supports, the teams were confronted with multiple challenges that demanded quick thinking and precise execution.

The contest brought together 24 teams from Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Colorado, highlighting the collective effort and dedication of coal mine safety teams across the region. Their commitment to rigorous training and preparedness ensures that they are ready to respond in times of crisis.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com.

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Walking the Reliability Tightrope

Just last week, the Texas grid narrowly avoided blackouts as the state’s grid operator, ERCOT, instituted emergency operating conditions. It was the latest sign that as power demand soars, operators are walking a tightrope to manage grids ever-more dependent on variable sources of power, policy-constrained supplies of thermal generation and inadequate infrastructure.

As E&E News observed, “a combination of a growing population, a booming economy and a heat wave pushed demand on the state’s main electric grid to previously unseen levels this summer, including 10 all-time records for demand.” Demand, in fact, hit a new record of 85,464 MW in August, a 7% increase over last year’s record. And alarmingly, well above the peak ERCOT predicted earlier this year of 82,739 MW.

What is happening in Texas – soaring demand colliding with increasingly complex operating conditions – is hardly unique to the Lone Star state. It’s a situation beginning to play out nearly everywhere as reliable, traditional generation is rapidly pushed off the grid.

Woody Rickerson, ERCOT’s chief operating officer, said “our grid is not the grid we’ve had in the past,” adding that resources like wind and solar “don’t behave in the same ways” as traditional gas and coal plants. Rickerson said ERCOT is still learning how to manage the variability of renewable generation.

The learning curve is brutally steep, and despite the claims of renewable boosters or academic modelers that would have you believe we can go all renewable overnight, making the system work – and even managing the current pace of change – is proving extraordinarily difficult.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com.

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