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  Labor Leader: Trump Has Stopped Erosion of Coal Jobs

The president of the United Mine Workers of America said Tuesday that President Trump has helped stop the erosion of the coal industry, with employment holding steady under his administration.

“Coal has not come back if the question is are we anywhere near the levels like 10 years ago,” Cecil Roberts, told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti.

Cecil Roberts

"The number of people working in the coal industry as coal miners has remained fairly constant since he went in and there has been a slight uptick in West Virginia,” he continued.

Employment in the coal industry hasn’t budged through most of the Trump administration.

According to a 2018 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 2,000 new coal jobs were created during Trump’s first year in office, but it appears this number has leveled off, with employment remaining steady in coal mining states like Kentucky. 

Trump has repeatedly voiced support for the coal industry and rolled back on a number of Obama-era regulations in an effort to help coal plants.  

But Roberts said that the president needs to take a stand on legislation that is geared toward protecting coal miners in retirement. 

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

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CONSOL's New Itmann Mine First Since a 2017 Restructuring

CONSOL Energy says the market for met coal is right to move forward on development of a new mine in southern West Virginia. Although Consol is an historic player in the coal industry, they’ve only been a stand alone coal company again since 2017.

“This was the first major announcement we’ve made since becoming a pure play coal company again,” said External Affairs Manager Zach Smith. “Since our transformation in November of 2017 we were spun off from our former parent CNX.”

The company, which still operates large coal mines in southwestern Pennsylvania, will open up the new Itmann Mine in Wyoming County. Development will be substantial and will take a couple of years to get in place.

“We have to build a new prep plant over the next couple of years, so there’s some capital that will go into getting the mine up and running,” he said.

When at full capacity, Smith anticipated 100 to 150 coal miners would be employed at the operation. It’s the kind of news Wyoming County has desperately been wanting to hear since the shutdown of the Pinnacle Mine earlier this year.

Consol Energy, although not the major player in the coal business it once was, still owns substantial coal reserves all across the Appalachian Region. Smith couldn’t speculate if more announcements like the Itmann Project are coming, but also wouldn’t rule it out.

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

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Global Coal Market a Huge Map of Volatility, U.S. Producers Need to Adapt 

Volatility in the global thermal coal market is the new constant as the Northern European delivered price becomes redundant and demand centers change, requiring US producers to begin to adapt their export strategies, Javelin Global Commodities CEO said Thursday.

"Exports are being affected by a supply push on one side and a demand pull on the other," providing a strong opportunity to build the export profile of the US, Javelin's Peter Bradley said at the Eastern Fuel Buyers Conference in Orlando, Florida. 

More coal-powered generation growth is entering the global market as countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and West Africa build coal plants at a higher rate than Western countries are getting rid of them.

Bradley noted as examples Pakistan building a 15-MW, coal-fired power plant and receiving its first proper delivery, along with a new 6,000 MW coal plant being built along the Suez Canal.

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

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 New Coal Mines Popping Up

A global push to dig new mines for steel-making coal is drawing warnings that a supply glut could push the industry from a boom to a bust, mirroring the brutal 5-year price slump that ended in 2016.

Coal's use to generate electricity has declined precipitously in the U.S. despite a revival push by President Donald Trump. That's left metallurgical coal as the only part of the industry still thriving, with strong global demand and barely growing supply combining to double the seaborne price since 2016 to more than $210 a metric ton.


Donald Trump

Earlier this week, Canonsburg, Pa.-based Consol Energy Inc. joined at least five other miners from the U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia in planning major new projects. It's an aggressive strategy that has some worried the industry may end up boosting output too much too quickly, just as consumption slows. If so, prices could crater.

"The supply-demand balance in the space is very tight," said Scott Schier, an analyst at Clarksons Platou Securities Inc. The industry could handle one or two new projects, he said, but "if more and more tons start coming online, it would be concerning."

Demand for metallurgical coal climbed 17 percent from 2015 through 2018, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. That helped soak up a glut that peaked in 2014 when global consumption of 284 million tons was outpaced with a total supply of 313 million tons.

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

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Affordability and Reliability First

In a nation that holds polarizing views on nearly everything, it’s telling when a poll returns decisive, bipartisan consensus on an issue. That’s precisely the case in a new poll from Morning Consult which asked Americans how they believe the current transformation of the grid should be approached. Asked if they would like to transition to a renewables-based grid as quickly as possible or rather take measured steps to achieve a balance of fuel sources, just 25 percent of Americans responded that they want a fast transition to renewables. Fifty-six percent of Americans want a more measured approach with a focus on affordability and reliability, with 19 percent preferring neither option.


 

An overwhelming majority of Americans from across the political spectrum want to proceed with caution. This is particularly interesting because in many states they’re getting just the opposite. Renewable portfolio standards are growing more ambitious. A growing number of states and utilities are pledging rapid and complete transitions to emissions-free power mixes even if they aren’t sure how to get there, or if the technology that would make such pledges feasible isn’t yet commercially viable.

It’s clear that the affordability of our power supply, along with the reliability of the grid, still remain decisive energy concerns. While some politicians push the fairytale that the nation can transition to renewables tomorrow and preserve affordability and reliability, Americans aren’t buying it – and for good reason.

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

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