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Stayin’ Alive

By Luke Popovich

If industry managers and their utility customers share one belief with equal conviction, it’s that coal is finally out of intensive care but not yet fit to run a marathon. That theme emerged loud and clear from the 22nd Annual Platts Coal Properties and Investment conference last month in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Strong attendance testified to the resilience of the industry and the improving outlook even as gallows humor (“Welcome, survivors”) was the order of the day.

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EPA’s Power Plant Gamble — A Risk We Can’t Afford

The following article by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) describes the impact of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations to control greenhouse gas emissions from coal-based power plants. Their bipartisan bill to restrain EPA regulatory overreach passed the House of Representatives on March 6. This editorial first appeared in The Huffington Post that day.

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The Time Is Right for a New Mine Safety Paradigm

Can the U.S. mining industry achieve its long-stated goal of zero fatalities? If so, what will it take to achieve it? These questions need to be openly and honestly discussed, and now is not too soon.  The reason is simple: mine safety performance, while improving, appears mired in a trough. Annual improvement followed by annual decline has become more the rule than the exception.

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Is that an Iceberg Ahead?

We Americans, you can’t keep us down. Our voices and our clothes may be too loud for refined tastes. But thanks to our super-charged energy production, we are now the envy of the global economy just six years after we nearly wrecked it.

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Happy New Year?

While the coal industry was nursing a New Year’s hangover, grateful to bid good riddance to a dismal 2013 marked by falling production and employment, the renewable energy industry was opening Christmas gifts from the Obama administration.

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