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Washington, D.C. (February 3, 2017) — The congressional action this week to strike down the "Stream Protection Rule" issued December 19, 2016 by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement is a welcome step in the right direction for the federal government and for coal. The swift action recognizes the severe flaws in a regulation that would needlessly restrict access to our nation’s abundant coal reserves, increase mining costs, erode federal and state tax revenues, and result in the loss of high numbers of well-paying jobs.

This rule is a shining example of policy that would be harmful, not helpful. It was one of the most punitive of the many federal regulations for coal mining and use issued over the past several years. While lacking in benefits, the rule would have been enormously bureaucratic. It was lengthy, redundant, and duplicitous and would have delivered absolutely none of the regulatory certainly touted when it was proposed in 2015.

The American Coal Council appreciates this congressional recognition of the regulatory relief needed for coal and looks forward to continued efforts to restore balance and common sense to regulation.

The American Coal Council is a nonprofit trade association representing the collective interests of the American coal sector — from the hole-in-the-ground to the plug-in-the-wall — in advocating for coal as an economic, abundant, and environmentally sound fuel source.
Andrew Follett (02/08/2017) — Coal power could see a revival in the near future, according to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

U.S. coal production fell by 18 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year, but changing market conditions suggest a comeback is one the way, according to the EIA report.

EIA projects natural gas prices will rise next year, causing coal power to regain some market share in the electricity generation mix. Since most U.S. coal is used to generate power, this will likely cause coal production to increase.
By Joseph Hammond (1/27/17) — Long synonymous with oil, Texas has a new distinction – home to the world’s largest clean coal plant.

The $1 billion project southwest of Houston allows a 240-megawatt (equivalent) coal-fired power plant to capture about 90 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions for use in enhanced oil recovery. This produces significant reductions in greenhouse gasses associated with climate change.

The project is a joint venture between NRG, the largest independent power producer in the United States, and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration, the largest Japanese oil company. The Department of Energy spent $190 million to support the development of the technology.
Cloud Peak Energy Resources LLC
(January 31, 2017) — U.S. thermal coal prices have risen over the past few months, largely lifted by higher gas prices for power generation, and forecasts for a tighter gas market in 2017 is good news for coal producers. Jim Levesque and Jeff McDonald, associate editors for Coal Trader, detail price movements for Central Appalachian and Powder River Basin coal as well as how the export metallurgical coal market is continuing to have an impact on thermal prices.
Heather Richards, Casper Star Tribune (1/26/17) — I think that from the perspective of what is healthy for the industry and what’s healthy for the state, our coal industry just ought to be able to compete.

I think that everybody understands, including people that are in these industries, that you’ve got market forces that are having an impact. But we shouldn’t have a situation where they are dealing with the market. They know they’ve got to compete with natural gas. They understand that, but when you also have policies coming out of an administration that are openly targeting — we’re going to kill this industry — that’s nearly impossible to deal with.

I think that if we’re able to undo, not just the Clean Power Plan, but mercury and air toxins and get the moratorium on the leases lifted, a whole range of issues, I think we’ll see a couple of very specific coal related issues dealt with as part of the congressional review act process. Then we will begin to basically allow coal to compete.
Associated Press (02/7/2017) Washington D.C. — A group of Republican senior statesmen are pushing for a carbon tax to combat the effects of climate change, and hoping to sell their plan to the White House.

Former Secretary of State Jim Baker is leading the effort, which also includes former Secretary of State George Shultz. In an opinion piece published Tuesday night in The Wall Street Journal, they argued "there is mounting evidence of problems with the atmosphere that are growing too compelling to ignore."

The group will meet Wednesday with White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, senior adviser Jared Kushner, and Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council. Ivanka Trump is also expected to attend, according to a person familiar with the plans. The person was not authorized to discuss the meeting publicly and insisted on anonymity.
FOX NEWS (02/07/17) — A key Obama administration scientist brushed aside inconvenient data that showed a slowdown in global warming in compiling an alarming 2015 report that coincided with the White House participation in the Paris Climate Conference, a whistle blower is alleging.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in a major 2013 report, concluded global temperatures had shown a smaller increase from 1998 to 2012 than any similar period over the past 30 to 60 years. But a blockbuster, June 2015 paper by a team of federal scientists led by Thomas Karl, published in the journal Science in June 2015 and later known as the "pausebuster" paper sought to discredit the notion of a slowdown in warming.
What the Media Says –
"Solar power employs twice as many people as the coal industry."

The Reality –
Many of the jobs in solar are part-time in nature and the average salary according to payscale.com is $15.60 per hour. Many, perhaps most, do not include benefits. By contrast, coal industry jobs are full-time with benefits and the average wage is $24 an hour according to payscale.com. A mine foreman makes approximately $39 an hour. Also, coal mining jobs are long-term positions. The run up in solar jobs is in large part due to the industry essentially "building out" its market. Once this is completed, the number of solar jobs will drop to those levels required for maintenance.

Source: www.payscale.com
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