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 The Five Largest Coal-Producing States in the US

In 2016, US coal production slumped to 728 million short tonnes, the lowest annual production since 1979, and an 18.8% year-on-year decline. However, coal production remains a vital element of the world’s energy supply, providing 40% of the world’s electricity. With the US still contributing 13% of the world’s coal, American coal mines can still be profitable and productive despite the rise of natural gas and renewable energy. Here are the five largest coal-producing states in the US.

Wyoming: 297.2 million short tonnes

The north-western state of Wyoming is the least populous state in the US, but has been the largest coal-producing state since 1986, in large part thanks to ten mines in the Powder River Basin. The Wyoming Mining Association (WMA) estimates that the state has coal reserves of 1.4 trillion tonnes, more than 165 billion of which is recoverable, with some seams in the Powder Basin in excess of 200ft thick.

The WMA claims that the low sulphur content of the coal and ‘world-class’ coal seams have contributed to the state’s significant coal production. The close proximity of coal seams to the surface also eliminates the need for expensive and dangerous digging operations, keeping production costs and risk to workers low. Wyoming’s coal production soared in the 20th century, from 9.4 million tonnes in 1918 to a peak of 466 million tonnes in 2008.

The state was responsible for 40.8% of all US coal production in 2016, and its North Antelope Rochelle mine in the Powder Basin is the largest coal operation in the world. The Peabody-owned project covers over 11,000 hectares, close to double the size of Manhattan island, and 21 freight trains full of coal leave the mine every day for over 100 power plants across the country. Between 2003 and 2016, Wyoming exported over 267 million tonnes of coal to other US states, making the Powder Basin projects an integral part of both the state’s economy, and the power supply of the US. 

West Virginia: 79.8 million short tonnes

While West Virginia was the second-largest producer of coal in the US in 2016, its production was less than a third of that of Wyoming’s. The Hobet mine has historically been one of the state’s most productive, and enjoyed rapid growth in the 1970s, from the start of coal production in the family-owned operation in 1974, to a peak annual production of 5 million tonnes in 2002.

However, strike action in 1993 saw the workforce nearly halved, and the mine’s owners Patriot Coal filed for bankruptcy twice between 2012 and 2015, putting the future of one of the state’s largest mines in doubt.

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

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Reforming the Culture of Science at EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is fundamentally transforming itself under President Donald Trump’s direction, from a department producing and funding politicized science to one instilling sound scientific standards for research that should produce results improving the environment and protecting peoples’ health.

Because the economic and social implications of regulations are profound, the science they are built upon must be impeccable.

Over the past few decades—under Republican and Democratic administrations alike—EPA formed a cozy relationship with radical environmental activists and liberal academic researchers. With the support of environmental lobbyists who despise market capitalism (expressed by consumers’ free choices in the marketplace), EPA bureaucrats, in pursuit of more power and expanded budgets for the agency, funded researchers who, because they were largely dependent on government grants for the majority of their funding, were only too happy to produce results claiming industry is destroying the Earth and the only way to prevent an environmental collapse is more government control of the economy.

These reports, however, ignored the fact poverty and hunger have steadily declined and people are living longer and more productively than ever before.

Recognizing this, Trump set about changing the way EPA pursues science: paying greater fealty to the scientific method and removing temptations for scientific corruption.

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

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Pelosi's Plot: Nancy Calls on Democrats to Close 30% of Coal Plants by 2010

Pelosi is confident she 'will be speaker of the House' if Democrats win in the midterms. On 'America's Newsroom,' House Majority Leader McCarthy says the midterm elections are about 'results vs. resistance.'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is renewing President Barack Obama's so-called “war on coal” by backing a radical initiative to shut down more than a third of U.S. coal plants by 2020 -- a line of attack that spectacularly backfired for Hillary Clinton in 2016. 

“Under President Obama, we went on to pass the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act in the House. But we were stopped in the Senate by the coal industry,” Pelosi said in remarks Thursday to the Global Climate Action Summit in California, according to a video obtained by the NTK Network -- an outlet backed by the right-wing America Rising PAC.

“For this and other reasons, I’m so grateful to [Former New York City Mayor] Michael Bloomberg’s ‘Beyond Coal’ initiative working with the Sierra Club. It is so essential.”

The "Beyond Coal" website describes coal as “an outdated, backward, and dirty 19th-century technology.”

“The Beyond Coal campaign’s main objective is to replace dirty coal with clean energy by mobilizing grassroots activists in local communities to advocate for the retirement of old and outdated coal plants and to prevent new coal plants from being built,” the website says.

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

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 California's Regressive Lab Experiment

Responsible governance is defined differently in California. Governor Jerry Brown has signed an executive order for the state to slash its overall emissions to zero by 2045 and then go negative, meaning that in 2046 the state will have to start pulling more emissions from the atmosphere than it puts in. As a compliment to this policy, 100 percent of the state’s electricity must be generated with carbon-free sources by 2045. What this will cost, no one has the slightest idea.

Vox’s David Roberts, an uber climate hawk, described these executive orders like this: “Wait, whaaat? Zeroing out carbon entirely in California? In just over 20 years? In my expert opinion, that is ... holy ####.” 

Californians – well at least some of them – realize that the state can’t singlehandedly win the global fight against rising emissions. California’s effort is going to be largely symbolic, or inspirational, depending on your preferred adjective.

Besides being almost certainly technically infeasible with current technology, it’s going to be awesomely expensive, perhaps ludicrously so. There has been a startling lack of curiosity in even exploring the costs. No projection was included with the executive orders. In the Governor’s defense, it’s hard to put a price tag on technologies that don’t exist. There are so many variables at play here, even trying to model the costs is likely a fool's errand. However, vast uncertainty aside, what we do know is that the policy is without a doubt regressive and it should shake consumers’, seniors’ and anti-poverty advocates to the very core.

As The Wall Street Journal pointed out, electricity prices in California are already by far the highest in the western U.S. Electricity prices have jumped 25 percent since 2013 as California has plunged headlong into its renewable energy crusade. While wind and solar power are becoming increasingly cost-competitive, the burden of integrating them onto the grid is getting more difficult and costlier. 

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

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Analysts Expect US Coal Exports to Continue Surging in 2018

U.S. coal exports are expected to surge 10 percent in the next year, according to new forecasts by the Energy Department’s statistics arm.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that while coal production will fall one percent in 2018, exports will surge 10 percent above 2017. Coal exports were up 32 percent in the first half of 2018 compared to the same time the previous year.

It’s good news for President Donald Trump, who promised to help get coal country back on its feet during the 2016 campaign. Coal is part of Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda.

During Trump’s first year in office, coal exports surged 61 percent, largely thanks to demand in Asia where economic growth increased the amount of coal countries needed to fuel their economies.

Now, it looks like Asian growth will cause U.S. coal exports to further increase. 

“Three of the top five destinations for U.S. coal exports are in Asia, with India, South Korea, and Japan accounting for more than one-third of U.S. exports through March,” EIA reported Tuesday.

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

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