Facebook Twiiter LinkedIn Google Plus Flickr
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions
A recent report by Management Information Services takes a look at the massive, statewide impacts of TVA’s planned closure of almost 3,900 MW of coal-fueled generation and expectations for further closures in the near future. The broad, widespread economic and social impacts on Tennessee’s people, their economy, industry, and productivity are frightening.

A short read of the report’s findings are that, as TVA drops coal from its generation fleet, the people of Tennessee will pay dearly.
Editor’s note: We welcome this guest post, discussing the "war on coal," by Greg Walcher, author of "Smoking Them Out."

I attended a conference in April where a number of speakers lamented policies they call "the war on coal." War is a harsh term, but in general they refer to the current Administration’s stated desire to wean the American economy of its dependence on coal for generating electricity. Both the White House and the EPA deny any "war on coal," though the national media has reported significant email traffic between them and leaders of the Sierra Club’s "Beyond Coal" campaign.

To me, the semantics of words like "war" can be debated at length, but that really misses the point. Lots of people think we should be looking for cleaner ways to produce electricity, so there is a legitimate discussion (not a war) about switching from coal to natural gas or some other technology.
The Pope’s encyclical on climate change offers the opportunity for the global community to thoughtfully consider quality of life issues and human betterment. Access to affordable energy and electricity must be a primary objective. At least 1.3 of the 7 billion people in the world have no electricity access at all, and more than double that number have inadequate access to it. Basic needs of clean water, sanitation, medical care, lighting, and warmth and cooling are impossible to meet without electricity. Coal is a critical input for meeting those needs, fueling about 40% of the world’s electricity.
Naylor Association Solutions
The Obama Administration is falling all over itself to find new and inventive ways to kill the U.S. coal industry. New rules aimed at discouraging coal mining as well as coal-fired electricity generation—both of which are essential to Utah’s economic well-being—are nearly too numerous to count, but one rule in particular captures the folly that is the Administration’s climate policy.

EPA’s New Source Performance Standards, a draft rule that sets tight limits on the amount of carbon dioxide a new power plant can emit, effectively mandates that all new coal-fired plants use carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology. Unfortunately, CCS is no more commercially viable than a manned mission to Mars.
Analysis by West Virginia Public Broadcasting and SNL Energy found that Kentucky and West Virginia have lost 14,366 coal jobs since the fourth quarter of 2011. Kentucky leads the nation in lost coal jobs, having lost 7,666, while West Virginia is second with 6,700 lost jobs, Dave Mistich reports for West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Job losses are mostly blamed on cheaper natural gas and Environmental Protection Agency proposed rules to cut carbon-dioxide emissions from existing power plants 30 percent by 2030.
An eastern Ohio coal company says it has called back hundreds of laid off workers in West Virginia.

Murray Energy said in a release Thursday that the 262 hourly employees recalled by its Monongalia County Coal Co. subsidiary have been back on the job since June 6. They had been idled since March 31.

CEO Robert Murray says the coal industry remains in "severe economic hardship," which he attributes to a host of factors including increased use of natural gas to produce electricity, Obama administration policies, West Virginia's severance tax and environmentalist opposition.
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions
Jana Venzke is fighting the war on coal here in northwest Colorado — one bottle of craft beer at a time.

Last week, she pulled every New Belgium and Breckenridge label from the shelves at her store, A1 Liquors, after finding their names on a list of businesses that contribute to WildEarth Guardians, the anti-coal group whose lawsuit threatens to shutter the local Colowyo Mine, taking 220 jobs with it.

"This is a coal town here. Where we make our income is through coal miners," said Ms. Venzke, whose husband, Ryan, works as a miner in the nearby Twentymile Mine. "If we don’t have their support, we as a liquor store wouldn’t be here either."
In what may be remembered as Black Friday for coal in West Virginia, the state’s two largest producers told 1,800 employees they would be laid off in 60 days.

Both Alpha Natural Resources and Murray Energy point toward a weak coal market and federal EPA regulations. Murray also took a swipe at President Obama, saying he has been the author of "the ongoing destruction of the United States coal industry."

Industry analyst Bob Hodge of IHS Coal said EPA guidelines, tightened under the Obama Administration, have hurt the most.
Having lost the first round, the coal industry has adopted the "if at first you don’t succeed" approach in its challenge of Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) climate change policy.

Coal companies and officials from 14 states filed a lawsuit to stop the EPA from adopting its plan to limit the production of greenhouse gases from power plants. The litigation was filed while the proposed rule was—and still is—only in draft form. The agency won’t formally release it until August, which made the legal challenge premature in the eyes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, whose three-judge panel unanimously rejected the complaint.
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions
In recent testimony before the Pennsylvania House and Senate Coal Caucuses, Pennsylvania Coal Alliance CEO John Pippy said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed "Clean Power Plan" will be "the cheap shot that cripples the industry."

Pippy made the comment in reference to a proposed rule by the EPA to reduce gas emissions by 32 percent over 2012 levels of currently reported emissions. If the rules are approved, emissions would have to be reduced by the year 2030.
Chemistry books say there are three fossil fuels: coal, oil and natural gas. Lately you could get the impression that coal is the only one. As a global agreement to rein in climate-warming carbon emissions draws closer, oil and gas companies are increasingly talking about coal as the problem and describing themselves as a crucial part of the solution, together with renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.

"We stand ready to play our part," six major European oil and gas companies including Royal Dutch Shell and BP said in a recent letter to UN climate officials working on a major climate deal set to be adopted in Paris in December.
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions
Recent mine layoffs have led to the loss of hundreds of jobs across the Mountain State.The Ohio Valley Job Alliance is newly formed but they know the importance of the coal industry in the history of West Virginia.

They believe coal is still the best option for power in West Virginia and believes gas-fire power plants would eliminate coal jobs entirely.

President Bruce Whipkey believes the gas fire plant will end up costing the people of West Virginia more money while offering significantly less jobs then the coal industry.
American Coal Council
1101 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Ste. 300, Washington, DC USA 20004



We would appreciate your comments or suggestions.
Your email will be kept private and confidential.