america coal

Replacing Coal with Renewables Could Save Energy Customers $8 Billion a Year, Financial Analysts Find

Read time: 6 mins
Wind turbines and coal power station in UK

By Joe Smyth, Energy and Policy Institute. This was originally posted on the Energy and Policy Institute.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley and Moody’s Investors Service expect that more electric utilities will accelerate their transition away from coal, with major financial benefits for both ratepayers and shareholders.

In a research report last month titled “The Second Wave of Clean Energy,” analysts at Morgan Stanley explained how “the surprisingly low cost of renewables” will drive utilities to close most of the remaining U.S. coal plants over the next decade. Replacing coal with cheaper renewable energy could save electricity customers as much as $8 billion each year, according to Morgan Stanley:

With Coal’s Decline, Pennsylvania Communities Watch the Rise of Natural Gas-fueled Plastics

Read time: 9 mins
Cemetery angel next to closed Bruce Mansfield Coal Plant and Beaver Valley Nuclear Plant

For Beaver County, just northwest of Pittsburgh, the construction of Royal Dutch Shell’s towering new plastics factory overshadows the closure of the Bruce Mansfield Power Plant, the state’s largest coal power station, located along the same stretch of Ohio River in western Pennsylvania. 

The juxtaposition of these two projects, in which one powerful fossil fuel supply rises as the other falls, reflects the broader pattern of changing energy sources in America. A growing chorus agrees the expansion of the natural gas industry, which feeds plastics and petrochemical plants like Shell’s, is moving the U.S. in the wrong direction to prevent catastrophic impacts from climate change.

US Renewable Energy Capacity Beats Coal for the First Time

Read time: 3 mins
Newport Renewables installs solar panels on the Powers Building in the Rhode Island Capitol Hill complex on June 12, 2017

By Jordan Davidson, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

What's the future of coal? The answer may be blowing in the wind. Or running through our waters. Or, maybe it's at the end of a sunbeam.

Wherever the answer is found, the message is clear. Coal is on a downward trend in the U.S. and renewables are on the rise, according to a new report released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC.

The report shows that renewable energies had slightly more installed capacity than coal, as CNN reported.

Here’s Why Trump’s New Strategy to Keep Ailing Coal and Nuclear Plants Open Makes No Sense

Read time: 6 mins
Indian Point nuclear power station in New York

By James Van Nostrand, West Virginia University

President Donald Trump recently ordered Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take “immediate steps” to stop the closure of coal and nuclear power plants.

And according to a draft memo that surfaced the same day, the federal government may establish a “Strategic Electric Generation Reserve” to purchase electricity from coal and nuclear plants for two years.

Both proposals, which have garnered little support, are premised on these power plants being essential to national security. If implemented, the government would be activating emergency powers rarely tapped before for any purpose.

Western Fuels Association's Decades Of Dollars For Climate Science Doubt And Denial

Read time: 8 mins

Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal and Peabody Energy have filed bankruptcies, incidentially revealing payments to cllimate anti-science groups. The Western Fuels Association (WFA) may be smaller and less known, but its long history of funding climate denial is already better exposed. It was called out by Senator Tom Udall in his #WebOfDenial remarks in July 2016.  Its earliest well-known disinformation effort is detailed in MedievalDeception 1991: Lindzen Hijacks Curve For Western Fuels Video - Early Fake News.

Its front group Greening Earth Society (GES) claimed “sound information” following the “sound science” theme of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), started as front for Philip Morris in 1993, but like WFA, also involved Pat Michaels.

Newly-assembled information adds evidence that #WesternFuelsKnew the science was against them, decades ago.

Welfare Coal: These Three Coal Companies Want to Hide How Much Publicly Owned Coal They Mine

Read time: 4 mins
Coal mining in Wyoming.

By Joe Smyth, crossposted with permission from Climate Investigations Center

Earlier this year, I looked at just how much the largest U.S. coal mining companies depend on access to subsidized federal coal, most of it extracted from public lands in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming. The U.S. Interior Department tracks the amount of publicly owned coal mined by each company, but doesn’t publicly report this information.

As I recently learned, even a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) might not reveal just how much publicly owned coal companies are mining.

Industry Already Protesting EPA's First-Ever Limits on Mercury Pollution

Read time: 4 mins
Coal power plant pollution

After more than 20 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally set federal limits on how much mercury pollution power plants can release into the atmosphere. The fact that the power industry has been able to dump unlimited amounts of mercury and other toxics into the skies (and eventually into the ocean and tuna) without penalty for so long is mind-boggling.

Unless, that is, you ask industry groups and their friends in Congress, who are already parroting the same talking points they bring out every time a new pollution control appears – despite the fact that the Clean Air Act turns out to be a bargain for America over and over again.

Coal Power Plants Are Number One ... Source of Toxic Air Pollutants in U.S.

Read time: 4 mins
We're number one!

King Coal once again takes the crown for title of dirtiest polluter in the land – or in this case, the air. Coal-burning power plants cough up more hazardous air pollutants than any other source of industrial pollution in the U.S., but it doesn’t have to be that way, says a new report from the American Lung Association (ALA). The report, released March 8, anticipates the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) expected proposal to reign in this kind of noxious air pollution with a new set of rules for electric utilities, which include coal and oil-fired power plants.

Congress passed amendments to the Clean Air Act way back in 1990 to limit the release of these air pollutants, but for twenty years, the electric utility industry has taken advantage of various loopholes and extensions to avoid cleaning up all facilities in the way other industries have been doing so across the country for years.

“It’s time that we end the ‘toxic loophole’ that has allowed coal-burning power plants to operate without any federal limits on emissions of mercury, arsenic, dioxin, acid gases such as hydrogen chloride and other dangerous pollutants,” said ALA president Charles D. Connor in a press release.

ACCCE Hires New PR Firm With Bush Ties To Push Coal

Read time: 2 mins

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) has hired two new public relations firms to hock its message in the wake of the disastrous job done by Bonner & Associates. 

ACCCE has retained HDMK, a PR firm with very strong ties to former President George W. Bush and the Republican Party, to manage its national media efforts, while Dan Ronayne, a managing director of the Howard Consulting Group, was retained to work with regional reporters.

HDMK is run by Terry Holt, the national campaign spokesperson for George W. Bush in the 2004 election and the former spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner.  Other HDMK partners include Trent Duffy, a former deputy press secretary to President George W. Bush, Jim Morrell, former deputy chief of staff to the House Republican Conference and a speechwriter for former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL), and Chad Kolton, another long-time Republican communications operative who served in the Bush administration as press secretary at the OMB and FEMA.

Celebrate Our Coal, Come On!

Read time: 1 min

This is probably not the celebration Kool and the Gang had in mind when they wrote their hit song “Celebration.”

But its America's overabundance and over-reliance on the dirtiest form of electrical generation that has one industry front group celebrating.

Check out this website run by an organization called the “Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC), and in particular their “50% TV Spot” video.
Subscribe to america coal