Search Results for coal
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Discussion

Will the Bonanza of Cheap Natural Gas Postpone the Transition to a Clean Energy Future?

Author(s): Marilyn Brown
Professor of Public Policy
Georgia Institute of Technology
Date: March 27, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Thanks to breakthroughs in seismic imaging, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the US in 2012 reduced its reliance on much dirtier coal by shifting to gas-fired power plants. This trend is expected to continue, spurred by low gas prices and increased regulation on coal. The move to shale gas is being heralded as a key to economic prosperity and a clean energy future. But there are other options for displacing baseload electricity from retired coal plants, the principals being nuclear, renewables and energy efficiency. Will the gas bonanza enable or postpone the transition to these cleaner options? While natural gas… [more]

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Coal’s No Way to Make the Job Market Hop

Author(s): Daniel Kammen
Distinguished Professor of Energy
University of California, Berkeley
Date: January 16, 2013 at 3:08 PM

If Peabody Energy, SSA Marine and Goldman Sachs really want to stimulate jobs in Washington State, as they claim in their support of the Gateway Pacific project, they can find much better ways to do so than building the sprawling $665 million coal terminal northwest of Bellingham, WA. They could use the money instead to fund energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects, which per dollar invested, would create twice as many jobs at minimum. Modern coal terminals are highly mechanized facilities, and few workers are needed to operate them. As estimated in official project documents, the Gateway Pacific Terminal would support only… [more]

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Panel Discussion Word of the Day: Opportunity

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: December 14, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Update: See a video recording of the event here OurEneryPolicy.org’s high-level panel discussion, moderated by Chief National Correspondent for the Fox News Channel Jim Angle, and featuring James Connaughton, General James L. Jones, and Timothy Wirth, had an overall tone of optimism for energy policy for next four years and beyond. Here are some event highlights: The panelists saw hydraulic fracturing as presenting an economic, energy security, and emissions reduction opportunity, but agreed that smaller “mom and pop” operations engaging in substandard industry practices could turn public opinion against fracking. However, there is an opportunity for industry leaders, such as… [more]

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How do the GOP and Democratic Energy Platforms Stack Up?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: September 6, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Both the Democratic and Republican parties have released their platforms, each offering a vision of the American energy landscape in the coming years. Both parties promote distinct visions of an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy. The end goal for both parties is U.S. energy independence, with the GOP’s vision seeming to rely primarily on the development of America’s fossil fuel resources and a business-friendly regulatory regime, while the Democrats’ platform promotes a “move towards a sustainable energy-independent future” that would allocate resources between fossil fuel and renewables development, alongside to a variety of “green” initiatives. GOP Democrats Fossil Fuels Supports “new, state-of-the-art coal-fired… [more]

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Can We Rely on Technology to Stop Climate Change?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: July 26, 2012 at 7:20 AM

In a column for the New York Times titled “There’s Still Hope for the Planet,” columnist David Leonhardt describes why investments in technology – particularly governmental investments in clean tech research and development – may be the best bet for reducing CO2 emissions, and may provide a small basis for optimism to those interested in fighting climate change. Leonhardt argues that renewable energy, which is becoming increasingly cost-competitive with traditional fossil fuels, and the emergence of natural gas as a replacement for coal, make putting a price on CO2 emissions less attractive than investment programs. “Carbon pricing is going to… [more]

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Heritage Report Calls on Congress to Save Coal

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: July 25, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Describing recently implemented or approved regulations – including the Greenhouse Gas New Source Performance Standard, the Utility MACT standards, and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule – and their deep impacts on the coal industry, a report from the Heritage Foundation calls on Congress “to create a framework that restricts overregulation, empowers the states, balances economic growth and environmental well-being, and creates a timely permitting process for all aspects of coal production.” The report finds no issue with the free market changing coal’s share of our energy mix, but argues against artificially reducing that share through disincentives and regulation. The report states that… [more]

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Discussion

The Status of Clean Coal

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: July 10, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Coal is one of America’s most abundant and affordable energy sources, and has served for decades as the country’s primary base load electric fuel. Coal comes with significant environmental trade-offs, including local air and water pollution, deforestation, and mountaintop removal from mining process, and greenhouse gas and toxic particulate emissions from burning it to generate electricity. Given plentiful U.S. supplies of low-cost coal, there is clear economic and energy security rationale for continuing to use coal, and government and industry have worked for years to promote and demonstrate “clean coal” technologies. It is hoped that these technologies will capture CO2… [more]

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Coal Seeks a Northwest Passage

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: June 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM

U.S. coal exports from terminals in the Pacific Northwest and Gulf of Mexico could aid coal producers, who are keen to tap into international demand after a drop-off in domestic coal use. However, local officials and environmental groups have been resistant to plans to build the necessary infrastructure, like ports and rail, in the region. The Seattle City Council, for example, voted down plans for an export terminal that would have shipped coal from Wyoming and Montana’s Powder Basin to markets in Asia. Coal producers and exporters say the projects will deliver local and national economic benefits, including jobs and… [more]

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The End of Coal?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: May 17, 2012 at 7:22 AM

Bloomberg Government has published The Twilight of Coal Power?, an assessment of how EPA’s new greenhouse gas rules might affect coal-fired power plants. The report concludes that although coal will remain in the energy mix for decades due to existing plants, the EPA’s new rule will effectively ban new coal plants. The new rules require that fossil plants not exceed 1,000 lbs. of CO2/MWh. Scott Segal, executive director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, which represents utility interests, warns that EPA’s rule will disrupt utility hedging by eliminating coal from the fuel mix and “depriving the market of its flexibility.”… [more]

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Discussion

With Cheap Natural Gas, Who Needs Anything Else?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: May 10, 2012 at 7:46 AM

Domestic natural gas production continues to expand, while natural gas spot prices are at historic lows. Many utilities are responding to these changing market dynamics by building gas plants or “fuel-switching” existing power plants from more expensive fuels to gas. As a result, coal generation continues to fall. Due in part to price competition with natural gas, some Congressional “clean energy” subsidies may not be renewed. EIA projections suggest that domestic production will continue to increase, and that natural gas prices faced by electric utilities will remain below $7.00/mBtu, through 2035. [Source: EIA] What does near- to mid-term domestic natural… [more]

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