Fundamentals for Coal Look Good for 2014

By Steve Fiscor / Editor-In-Chief

What do you call a ship full of climate researchers stranded in the ice at the South Pole? A good start to a new year. Seeing those folks entertain themselves on live television via Skype, one had to wonder what it’s like when they are actually working. Is it that dissimilar? With a photo op like this, why didn’t Al Gore and his minions seize the opportunity to rescue them? Probably because they saw the debacle further debunking global climate change.

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Controlling the Narrative

Have you seen ExxonMobil’s Energy Lives Here campaign? With the high amount of natgas propaganda on network television, they are hard to miss. One of the commercials asks: If you could see energy, what would it look like?

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Great Properties Change Hands

After months of rumors, CONSOL Energy finally announced that it had sold several longwall mines (See Murray Energy Buys 5 CONSOL Longwall Mines, News, p. 5). This was the second time this year that a leader in the longwall mining sector sold tier 1 assets to a medium-sized producer. In July, Arch Coal sold its Canyon Fuel mines to Bowie Resources. This deal, however, is much bigger in several respects.

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The EPA Makes Bold Moves

As expected, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed Clean Air Act standards to cut carbon pollution from new power plants. The move was motivated by President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. While the EPA proposal offers some flexibility, new coal-fired units would need to meet a limit of 1,100 lb of CO2 per MW-hour. The technology needed to meet these standards does not currently exist, which effectively rules out coal for future power production. The EPA then went one step further by announcing its plan for a “Listening Tour” for controlling carbon pollution from existing power plants. Ironically, the Listening Tour won’t be coming to Coal Country.

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American Politicians Could Learn from the Australians

Australia’s stalled mining sector is poised for a fresh boost with the recent election of a conservative government headed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who championed a platform that included scrapping a deeply unpopular carbon cap-and-trade scheme and a mining resources rent tax.

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