Xcel Energy to Move Colorado Away from Coal

Xcel Energy asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to approve a process that could lead to a $2.5 billion “clean energy” investment in rural Colorado. The “Colorado Energy Plan” proposes an electricity generating portfolio to augment the company’s current 2016 Electric Resource Plan (ERP). The plan would only be advanced if the resulting portfolio of resources reduces, or at least does not increase, the cost of energy to Xcel Energy’s Colorado customers.

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Pruitt Proposes Repeal of Clean Power Plan


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP). After reviewing the CPP, the EPA determined that the President Barack Obama-era regulation exceeds the agency’s statutory authority. Repealing the CPP will also facilitate the development of U.S. energy resources and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens associated with the development of those resources, keeping with the principles established in President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Energy Independence, the EPA said.

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Hallador Energy Anticipates Meeting 2017 Sales Goal

Illinois Basin steam coal producer Hallador Energy, which continues to trim costs at its flagship Oaktown underground mines in southern Indiana, is confident it will reach its 2017 sales projections of 6.3 million to 6.6 million tons, according to president and CEO Brent Bilsland.
Through the first half of 2017, the Terre Haute, Indiana-based company sold 6.2 million tons and was operating at only 60% capacity. Hallador has the capability of producing approximately 10 million tons annually from its mines in Indiana if demand warrants. It still has not brought its Carlisle underground mine in Sullivan County, its original flagship operation idled nearly two years ago, back into production because the two Oaktown mines are newer and lower-cost operations.

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American Coal Plants Lead the World in Emissions Control

Clean coal has long been an industry focus. Primarily emphasizing the need for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the movement has emphasized the need for carbon capture technologies. But while the world is focused on carbon and climate change, the U.S. coal-fired power industry has been leading the world in emissions control over the past decade, particularly with mercury emissions. The Arctic recently made headlines following a study that confirmed extensive mercury contamination due to mercury emissions from burning coal around the world.

In response to environmental concerns and their desire to improve the environmental footprint of their plants, coal-fired plant operators have taken steps to prevent these emissions. As the coal industry works to adapt to shifting public expectations, it’s clear that to be truly clean requires capturing non-carbon sources, too. Through innovations that go beyond carbon capture, operators can work toward a clean coal-fired plant, while maintaining profitability.

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Armstrong Energy Faces Potential Bankruptcy

Armstrong Energy Inc. said in mid-August it was facing a possible bankruptcy filing as the small Illinois Basin steam coal producer continues to experience operating losses and the inability to repay an interest payment.

The St. Louis-based parent company of Armstrong Coal, which mines in western Kentucky, recorded a net loss of $17.2 million in the second quarter, up from a net loss of $15 million a year earlier, although total revenue actually was a bit higher at $60.9 million. Total assets including cash and cash equivalents dipped to $74.1 million at the end of June from nearly $90 million a year ago.

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