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If This Arizona Energy Plant Shuts Down, The Consequences Will Be Dire

The increasing debate about Arizona’s energy future has become a test case for the current administration’s pledge to support energy diversity. Basics like energy security, reliability and affordability are common sense goals for energy policy. These priorities take on far greater complexity in Arizona than perhaps anywhere else in the nation.

The decisions we make today about our energy future will have an enormous impact on the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe. For decades, tribal people in the northernmost part of the state have offered the use of their land and their resources to create the energy that powers our homes and moves water across Arizona to sustain lifestyles. Few could argue the tremendous growth and prosperity we’ve all enjoyed as a result.

Navajo Generating Station

At the center of the issue is the Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fueled power plant sanctioned by Congress in the late 1960s to provide power for the Central Arizona Project.  The leaders of the day recognized their trusted responsibility to the Navajo and Hopi people.  They had the wisdom to build the workhorse of our power supply on tribal lands using tribally owned coal to create skilled jobs and sustaining revenues that would span several generations.

Yet this grand plan that was sanctioned by Congress and subject to two decades of debate has been short-circuited by the utility owners who announced a plan for early closure at the end of 2019. Far too little attention is being paid to dire impacts that losing this plant would have on traditional working families and entire tribal communities.

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

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News


Coal Cuts Dangerously Clip Texas Power Capacity

As reported in the Houston Chronicle, "Texas' electricity grid operator expects the state’s power demand to hit an all-time high this summer, possibly requiring customers to reduce power consumption and triggering emergency measures to keep electricity flowing through the grid." Titled "A Summer Bummer Looms," the article goes on to say that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) estimates that it will have just enough power to meet demand forecasts provided that temperatures don’t get excessively hot or the wind doesn’t blow strong enough to breeze by the deficit.

But wait just a minute. Is this really the same Texas I live in that they are referring to? Isn’t Texas the country’s petroleum and gas energy capital? And hasn’t the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) bragged that Texas leads the nation in that wind power production which is making evil petroleum obsolete and unnecessary anyway?

Reading more deeply into the article, they give the reason after all, " . . . following the shutdown of three of the state’s largest coal-fired plants, planned outages and project delays, the state’s summer power reserves are at their lowest in more than a decade."

Who could possibly have imagined that shutting down a few coal plants would make any real difference, leading to what they project as an expected "spike in wholesale electricity prices." Not to worry, however, if demands exceed supply, ERCOT may ask customers to "raise their thermostats to cut power consumption," or failing that, they may "cut off power to large customers — such as industrial plants," or will "trigger rolling outages."

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

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News 


 Coal Retirements Threaten U.S. Electric Grid Reliability and Resiliency

We’re hearing more and more concerns about the reliability and resiliency of the U.S. electric power system, as recently illustrated by the so-called "bomb cyclone" that struck the northeast early this year.  Electric grid operators reported that coal use soared during the cold snap in the Midwest and East Coast, showing the importance of fuel diversity.

Assistant U.S. Energy Secretary Bruce Walker has amplified concerns. He testified earlier during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing:  “What was apparent during this weather event was the continued reliance on baseload generation and a diverse energy portfolio,” he said.

Others agreed:  “We could not have served customers without coal,” said Andrew Ott, CEO, PJM Interconnection serving 13 states and Washington, D.C.  These remarks come as no surprise given a similar situation occurred during the Polar Vortex in 2013, when even The New York Times declared: "Coal to the rescue."

With more retirements expected, the question is clear: what will happen to the U.S. power grid if coal capacity is cut short?

The battleground for that question is playing out in Arizona, where the Navajo Generating Station could be prematurely shutdown by 2019 (the importance of NGS).

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

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News 


NMA Members Finish Year With Safety Milestone

NMA announced in January that 28 companies participating in its CORESafety® system closed 2017 with zero fatalities. Those companies include:

Cloud Peak Energy Resources, LLC

Coeur Mining

Dyno Nobel

Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold

Hecla Mining Company

Newmont Mining Corporation

Peabody Energy

Arch Coal, Inc.

Barrick Gold of North America

CONSOL Energy Inc.

Contura Energy, Inc.

Hallador Energy Company

J.R. Simplot Company

Kinross Gold USA, Inc.


Morton Salt

Navajo Energy Transitional Energy Co.

North American Coal Corporation

Prairie State Generating Company, LLC

Rio Tinto Minerals

Rio Tinto/Kennecott Utah Copper

Stillwater Mining Company

Teck American Incorporated

Trapper Mining Inc.

Twin Metals

Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc.

Warrior Met Coal

Western Fuels Association, Inc

Hal Quinn

“The CORESafety® framework is designed to drive continuous improvement in mining safety performance was born out of an industry desire to set aside competition, foster a proactive safety culture among mining companies and share best practices to protect its people,” said Hal Quinn, NMA President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re seeing more and more companies certified, and this important milestone – zero fatalities – shows that the hard work that goes into implementation pays off in the most important way.”

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

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News


 NMA Supports Tax Credit to Safeguard Reliable Coal Based Power Generation

National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn today issued the following statement in support of “The Electricity Reliability and Fuel Security Act,” sponsored by Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.). The bill, a response to threats to the resiliency of the nation’s power grid due to the loss of almost 600 coal plants nationwide since just 2010, would provide a 30 percent tax credit for fixed operation and maintenance expenses of a coal-based generating unit for up to five years: 

Larry Buchson

“This coal baseload electricity generation tax credit is a necessary measure that will help to safeguard the reliability and resiliency of the nation’s power grid. The credit will help arrest the dramatic retirement of these power plants that provide reliable capacity, resilient generation and critical support services to the grid.” 

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

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News



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