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When Playing to the Crowd Prevents Progress

It’s easy to get confused by the news these days. On a daily basis we see green rhetoric eclipsing the stated purpose of environmental crowd.

Take New York’s Gov. Cuomo, for example. Even as he is greening-up his creds for a potential presidential run with commitments around reducing New York’s carbon emissions, he is cheering on the closure of New York’s zero-carbon-emissions-producing nuclear-powered Indian Point Energy Center.

And when members of Congress look to reform the New Source Review (NSR) program, which would help coal-fired power plants make emissions-reducing upgrades, environmental groups go on the warpath.

A bit of background is in order. NSR is a Clean Air Act program that requires industrial facilities to install modern pollution control equipment when they are built or when making a change that increases emissions significantly. Its purpose, according to EPA, is to “protect public health and the environment, even as new industrial facilities are built and existing facilities expand.” While the language sounds good, implementation of the program has not been.

For a better understanding of the challenges with NSR, let’s turn to Clean Air Act expert Jeffrey Holmstead, who has more than 30 years of expertise under his belt, including time served at the helm of the EPA office that implements the Clean Air Act. During testimony last week at a House Subcommittee on Environment Hearing on NSR, he summed it up this way:

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

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Is Coal Making a Comeback?

Coal is making a comeback, and President Donald Trump isn’t the sole reason, coal company executives and industry watchers were told during the 39th annual Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance/Southern States Energy Board Conference and Expo on Monday.

“Is coal making a comeback? All signs in the market point to yes. … The foundation has been laid to rebuild the nation’s coal industry,” said Jack Richardson, chief operating officer for Alabama-based Warrior Met Coal.

The comeback, conference attendees were advised, has been fueled by increased demand for coal in Europe and Asia, higher coal prices and coal mining employment going up every quarter in 2017.

With coal exports, prices and employment up, coal conference attendees had reason to be optimistic about the future of coal.

Photo by Hank Hayes 

Optimism reigned at the conference, held at the MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center, as alliance Chairman Jeff Taylor led off the event by hailing the Virginia General Assembly’s move to renew tax credits offered to coal mine owners. Bills passed by Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-Scott, and Sen. Ben Chafin, R-Russell, offer tax credits solely for metallurgical or “met” coal used for steel-making in foreign countries.

“We really appreciate the governor (Democrat Ralph Northam) working with us. … He stepped up to the plate and did what he said he would do,” Taylor noted.

The conference’s theme was: “The New Vision for Coal.”

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

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 Good News for Southwest Virginia Coal Industry

In a victory for Southwest Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam has signed into law legislation reauthorizing the critical Metallurgical Coal Tax Credits and a second measure that provides income tax exemptions for companies that are wiling to locate in certain economically-distressed parts of the Commonwealth.

Both bills are vital to Southwest Virginia, and will help with job creation and retention.

The coal tax credit legislation had been a point of contention between Southwest Virginia lawmakers and former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who repeatedly vetoed the coal tax bill. But Northam, a moderate Democrat, has demonstrated a welcomed willingness to work with area lawmakers on the bill.

As a result of those negotiations with Senator Ben Chafin, R-Russell and Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, a compromise agreement was reached that represents a new approach to the coal tax credits.

Under the revised legislation signed into law Saturday by Northam, the new coal tax credits will increase the competitiveness of Virginia metallurgical coal in the national and international markets.

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

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News 

 

Paringa Raises A$30 Million for US Coal Mine

Coal developer Paringa Resources has announced a A$30-million capital raising to fund the development of its Poplar Grove coal mine, in the Illinois basin, Kentucky.

The company on Monday said that some A$19.2-million had been raised through an institutional entitlement offer, which was priced at 22c a share.

The offer price represented a 34.3% discount to Paringa’s last closing price on May 17, and a 24.9% discount to the company’s five-day volume-weighted average price.

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

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 Here's How Renewable Energy Actually Hurts the Environment

A report on the number of animals killed and species at risk of extinction lays bare the ecological impact of renewable energy technology.

Michael Shellenberger, the founder and president of Environmental Progress, presented an argument that would appear nearly blasphemous for anyone fighting on the front lines of the green energy movement. Shellenberger made the case that renewable energy is not beneficial, but actually damaging, to the environment in a Thursday Forbes article. He added that if renewables take up a larger share of electricity generation — something environmentalists have ardently campaigned for — the ecological impact would be even more devastating.

Shellenberger cited a number of studies that detail the real-life impact of wind and solar facilities.

Clean Energy Wire reported that offshore wind turbines in Germany could “lead to the extinction of individual species,” including the rare and intelligent harbor porpoise. Scientists warn the expansion of wind energy in North America could lead to the extinction of migratory bat populations. A solar farm in California killed hundreds of desert tortoises, a threatened reptile in the state, and kills about 6,000 birds a year by lighting them on fire. Also in California, wind turbines in the Altamont Pass kill an estimated 4,700 birds a year, including Golden Eagles.

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

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