coal

Rename Coal to Save It, Suggests UN Climate Talks Sponsor

Read time: 3 mins

JSW, the coal company sponsoring the UN climate negotiations in Poland, has a plan to revive the coal industry: rename coal.

Daniel Ozon, CEO of JSW, believes that coking coal has been tainted by association with thermal coal, and that investors are backing away as a result.

But he thinks a “fancy new name” for coking coal could help.

Polish Trade Union And Climate Science Denial Group Issue Statement Rejecting Scientific Consensus on Climate Change At COP24

Read time: 3 mins

A Polish trade union has issued a joint statement with a notorious American climate science denial group rejecting the scientific consensus on climate change.

The statement, signed by the Chicago-based Heartland Institute and the trade union Solidarity was released as UN climate talks took place in Katowice, the centre of Poland’s coal heartland region of Silesia.

The talks, known as COP24, are widely considered to be the most important climate meeting since the 2015 summit in Paris and will aim to finalise the rulebook to implement the Paris Agreement.

'Green is Great': Coal, Oil, and Greenwash at the UN Climate Talks

Read time: 5 mins
Coal soap at Katowice pavilion at COP24

We were told to meet by the glowing jellyfish. Pascoe Sabido was holding it aloft, its plastic tentacles tangling, as journalists and campaigners closed in around him. A campaigner for Corporate Europe Observatory, he had promised us a “Toxic Tour” of COP24, a chance to see the influence of energy companies lurking behind the green veneer of the countries gathered here to tackle climate change.

Except, in some cases, the veneer was wearing thin — or, in Poland’s case — had rubbed off entirely. The tour began next to the logos of the conference’s sponsors projected onto the wall. It’s currently advertising LOTOS Oil, a Polish company that operates mainly in Norway. Other sponsors include JSW, a coal company, and PZU, the largest insurer of the Polish coal industry.

Coal Can’t Compete With Cheaper Alternatives and the Industry’s True Costs Are Higher Than They Appear

Read time: 6 mins
Big Brown coal plant in Texas
By Daniel Cohan, Rice University

There are costs associated with electricity beyond what shows up on your monthly bill.

When that energy comes from coal, residents who live downwind pay through poorer health and, as with all fossil fuels, the whole world pays for this combustion in the form of a warmer climate. Cleaning up or closing the nation’s dirtiest power plants could help stem the damage all around.

As an atmospheric scientist, I worked with two students to compute some of the often-overlooked costs of coal-fired power stations. We found that the damage to public health and the climate this source of electricity causes far exceeds the money power generators earn from the electricity they sell.

IPCC Report Says 1.5C Climate Target Is Reachable, But Only With Rapid Fossil Fuel Phase Out

Read time: 5 mins
wind turbines in front of coal power plant in UK

There is no scenario to keep global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) that allows coal to be burned for electricity by the middle of this century, a major United Nations (UN) climate report says.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report concludes human-caused greenhouse gas emissions have already pushed global average temperatures up by 1°C since the second half of the 19th century.

Warming is higher than the 1°C average over land, with temperatures as much as three times higher in the Arctic, causing melting. Extreme temperatures, rainfall, and sea levels have been pushed higher.

Massive and rapid transformations across societies will be needed to keep to a 1.5°C target, with dramatic cuts to fossil fuel use across all sectors of society.

Avenue Capital’s Plans to Revive West’s Largest Coal-Fired Power Plant Spark Protests from Navajo Nation Members

Read time: 6 mins

Protesters arrived outside the offices of a private equity firm run by a billionaire closely tied to the Clinton family on Monday, urging the company to abandon plans to keep a 44 year-old coal fired power plant on tribal lands running five years past its scheduled shut-down.

Rick Perry and Bob Murray Renew Conservative Call to Subsidize Coal

Read time: 7 mins
Bob Murray

Conservative rancor toward the free market in energy systems was on full display this week, as both Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and coal magnate Robert Murray made loud, unapologetic calls to subsidize coal-fired power plants.

We don’t have a free market in the [electricity] industry, and I’m not sure you want one,” Perry said Monday at the BNEF Future of Energy Summit.

Speaking on Tuesday, Murray, CEO of the country's largest underground mining company, said that Perry “has to approve” an emergency bailout for coal and nuclear plants in order to “ensure the resilience, reliability, and security of the grid.”

India May Ban Petcoke, One of Dirtiest Fossil Fuels Exported by Koch Brothers

Read time: 5 mins
Petcoke stockpiles

While U.S. power plants have considered petroleum coke or “petcoke to be too dirty to burn, India, on the other hand, has been importing this coal by-product of tar sands refining for years. However, it may be seeing its last days in the country which has served as its biggest importer.

In the aftermath of an Associated Press investigation published on December 1, India's Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said the country is formulating plans to phase out petcoke imports. The AP investigation, filed from New Delhi, revealed that citizens who live near petcoke refining facilities have come down with a range of air pollution-related illnesses in recent months and years.

The AP also points out that among the largest exporters of U.S. petcoke are Koch Industries subsidiary Koch Carbon and Oxbow Carbon, the latter of which is owned by the twin brother of David Koch, Bill Koch. The advocacy group Oil Change International referred to petcoke as “the coal hiding in the tar sands” in a 2013 report documenting the carbon footprint of petcoke production and combustion.

Proposed Bailout of Coal and Nuclear Is Trump Admin’s Attempt to Save Dying Industries

Read time: 5 mins
A Caterpillar D9 bulldozer pushes a mountain of coal at a rail/barge terminal on the Tennessee River. Calvert City, September 2010.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry recently ordered the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to fast-track a rule that purports to make the energy grid more resilient but which in reality will force utility customers to buy more expensive electricity from coal and nuclear plants. A new report by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) casts this proposal as a thinly veiled bailout for two industries that are no longer competitive in the electricity generation markets.

According to federal data compiled by EWG, without this bailout, utilities plan to close 75 coal and nuclear plants in the next three years.

As US Coal Exports Swell, Trump Admin Facilitates Major Deal with Ukraine

Read time: 5 mins
U.S. Embassy in Ukraine

Export levels of coal produced in the U.S. shot up earlier this year, as President Donald Trump assumed the White House, in what his administration has dubbed the age of “energy dominance.”

For the first quarter of 2017, export levels grew 58 percent compared to the same quarter last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The news comes as the Trump administration recently helped broker a major coal export deal between Pennsylvania-based coal production company Xcoal Energy and Ukranian company Centrenergo PJSC

That deal, which will see 700,000 tons of thermal coal shipped from XCoal's mines to Centrenergo power plants in Ukraine, was applauded by both U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

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