CA-Black-Transp

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

Coal Markets Showing Signs of Improvement

sfiscor2012It had to happen sooner or later. After taking a beat down for about 18 months now, old King Coal is finally seeing some signs of market improvement. Of course, this comes after U.S. operators dialed back production and laid off thousands of miners.

Read more ...

Gifts for the Energy Business

Last month, I had the great pleasure of being in West Virginia again. The purpose of the trip was to cover the opening of Alpha Natural Resources’ Running Right Leadership Academy, which is the cover story this month (See Alpha Academy, p. 24). On several occasions, we have approached Kevin Crutchfield, CEO and chairman for Alpha,  to discuss the integration of the Massey Energy operations. Each time, he politely declined. He and his 11,700-member team have been busy as one could only image.

Read more ...

The Changing Face of the Coal Business

They say perception is everything. Situations are perceived and a mental image is conjured on years of experience. As an example, if one were to pull a vendor aside at a mining trade show or seminar and ask, “How’s business,” the reply would probably be pessimistic. Depending on the amount of time that vendor has pursued the coal business and the quality of their equipment and services, the answer would vary from it’s awful (e.g., I have only been in the business for five years or less) to it’s never going to be as great as it once was (e.g., I have been doing this for way too long).

Read more ...