Dead Fuel Walking. Trump’s War on Coal.

September 5, 2019

Utility Dive:

New data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration illustrates the rapid decline of coal-fired electricity, showing a more-than 13% decline in generation from the fuel in the first half of 2019.

According to EIA’s Electric Power Monthly, utility-scale coal facilities generated 470,131,000 MWh from January through June, compared to 541,676,000 MWh in the same period last year. Solar generation grew 10.5%, while gas grew 6.1% and nuclear generation remained stable.

EIA expects coal to make up less than a quarter of U.S. generation this year, compared with about half just a decade ago. And Moody’s Investors Services has predicted coal-fired power could decline to 11% of U.S. electricity by 2030. 

Note the EIA has historically erred wildly on the side of fossil fuels, and under estimated renewable energy buildout.

CNN:

Roberts said Trump cutting back some of the Obama-era regulations that limited coal-fired power plant emissions “perhaps kept the coal industry … in existence” but that plants are still closing “dramatically” and the market keeps shrinking. He said coal mining jobs will continue to be lost because of what he called bad public policy, and “eventually there will be no market here or only the strongest companies will survive.” 


More coal-fired power plants have closed under Trump than during former Obama’s first term, largely because of free-market forces.

Roberts, who said he believes the global climate crisis is real, said the only thing he hears 2020 presidential candidates talking about “is how they’re going to save all the coal miners in this country or get rid of all the coal miners in this country. Do it tomorrow, you still are not solving climate change.”
He said technology that removes carbon from the burning of coal needs to be developed to solve the climate emergency.
Roberts also pleaded with the President to tweet that he believes coal miners who are entitled to pensions should have them. He noted that Trump has repeatedly said he loves coal miners, and he asked the President to “just make us 15 seconds of his day,” adding that he wasn’t being critical of Trump.

In July, retired coal miners and advocates went to Capitol Hill to urge members of Congress to protect their pensions, according to the United Mine Workers of America’s website. They urged support for the Miners Pension Protection Act, a bill that was introduced early this year in the House of Representatives by Rep. David McKinley, a West Virginia Republican.
“The UMWA’s pension fund is headed towards insolvency, with almost all of the coal companies that paid into the fund now bankrupt,” the website reads.

Advertisements

8 Responses to “Dead Fuel Walking. Trump’s War on Coal.”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Note the EIA has historically erred wildly on the side of fossil fuels, and under estimated renewable energy buildout.

    Which is why I don’t put a lot of weight on what they say now. Follow the money: Follow the investors’ activity.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      “Oil and gas companies undermining climate goals, says report.

      “Major oil and gas companies have invested $50bn (£40.6bn) in fossil fuel projects that undermine global efforts to avert a runaway climate crisis, according to a report.

      “Since the start of last year, fossil fuel companies have spent billions on high-cost plans to extract oil and gas from tar sands, deepwater fields and the Arctic despite the risks to the climate and shareholder returns.

      “Carbon Tracker, a financial thinktank, found that ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP each spent at least 30% of their investment in 2018 on projects that are inconsistent with climate targets, and would be “deep out of the money in a low-carbon world”.

      “Andrew Grant, the author of the report, said: “Every oil major is betting heavily against a 1.5C world and investing in projects that are contrary to the Paris goals.”

      “The study is the first to analyse individual projects to test whether they are compliant with a 1.5C world, and whether they would be financially sustainable in a low-carbon world.

      “It found that none of the largest listed oil and gas companies are making investment decisions that are in line with global climate goals, and risk wasting $2.2tn (£1.8tn) by 2030 if governments take a tougher stance on carbon emissions.

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/06/oil-and-gas-companies-undermining-climate-goals-says-report?utm_campaign=Carbon%20Brief%20Daily%20Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Revue%20newsletter

  2. J4Zonian Says:

    “More coal-fired power plants have closed under Trump than during former Obama’s first term…”

    It would be great to get that out in red states, but it’s not because of the market religion. People are choosing wind and solar because it’s better for humanity and the rest of the biosphere. China–and somewhat Germany, Denmark, Norway, et al–spent billions making solar, wind, EVs, batteries, EV buses and high speed rail cheaper, by building them and their factories when they were expensive. We could be enjoying the benefits of a 100% renewable energy system already and not be facing any greenhouse gas crisis, if the US government had worked as hard, spent as much, and been as smart.

    “Roberts, who said he believes the global climate crisis is real, said the only thing he hears 2020 presidential candidates talking about “is how they’re going to save all the coal miners in this country or get rid of all the coal miners in this country. Do it tomorrow, you still are not solving climate change.”
    He said technology that removes carbon from the burning of coal needs to be developed to solve the climate emergency.”

    Another moron compelled by motivated unreasoning? Or is he just another evil liar trying to wring a few more years of profit out of a destructive industry?

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Replumbing coal plants is expensive, and recapturing CO2 on its own is vastly more inefficient than never extracting, shipping and burning the coal in the first place. They’d want government subsidies to do it, too.

        • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

          I was commenting on Roberts’ promotion of still burning coal but with CO2 sequestration.

          • J4Zonian Says:

            Ah. Yes they certainly do like all the things they say they hate—picking winners and losers, as long as it’s fossil fuels and nukes getting picked to win; government largesse, as long as it goes to fossil fuels and nukes and rich people, ignoring the market they outwardly worship and inwardly despise and sabotage every chance. As long as it favors fossil fuels and nukes they’re quite happy with pointless expensive research and development as long as government and taxpayers pay and fossil fuel and nook boosters benefit.

            David Roberts just wrote the first of several pieces on CCS, CCU, etc. Duplicitous self-serving frgokers like Cecil R. are mainly just muddying the waters with their shifting lies. None of this changes anything about what we have to do: eliminate fossil fuels in the next decade or less, sequester carbon with agriculture and forestry, revolutionize concrete, steel, shipping, flying, plastics, and other industries, equalize politically and economically, and treat the mental illness that’s at the root of all our problems, including capitalism.

            https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/9/4/20829431/climate-change-carbon-capture-utilization-sequestration-ccu-ccs

            Unions’ and workers’ interests lie in allying with climate and ecological activists and other progressives; one way we can encourage them to do that is by reiterating their demand that their pensions, health care and retraining be paid no matter what–taken out of fossil mbillionaires’ personal fortunes if that’s what it takes. In fact, that would be my first choice.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: