coal miners


Photo: Wikimedia

Budget Proposal Throws Coal Communities under the Bus

, senior energy analyst

This morning the president released his “skinny” budget, an initial cut at the new administration’s priorities for government spending. This proposal will be nearly impossible to pass through Congress, but there are still many reasons to be alarmed about the proposed funding cuts (especially at NOAA, FEMA, and EPA).

One thing is absolutely clear from the proposals outlined in the skinny budget: despite many campaign promises to bring back coal jobs and support coal miners, the president doesn’t actually care about Coal Country. Read more >

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Real Help for Coal Miners Requires Real Solutions

, senior energy analyst

Any day now, the president is expected to sign one or more executive orders aimed at rolling back environmental safeguards that improve our public health through protecting clean air and clean water. It will likely include the beginning of the new administration’s efforts to rescind the Clean Power Plan, the first ever limits on global warming emissions (or carbon emissions) from existing power plants. That’s in addition to signing a bill revoking the stream protection rule and an executive order reviewing the Waters of the United States rule.

Much of the rhetoric around these actions has been focused on supporting fossil fuels—and especially about bringing back lost coal jobs. But how realistic is this promise to the nation’s coal miners? Read more >

Photo: Ryan/CC BY (Flickr)
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Congress Can and Should Act to Support Coal Communities

, senior energy analyst

Congress returns from recess to a big opportunity to support coal communities, by passing the RECLAIM Act (H.R.4456), which would release existing funding for the cleanup and redevelopment of abandoned mine lands with the goal of spurring economic development in these communities. I previously blogged about this bill when it was introduced by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY-5) back in February. This month, the House Natural Resources Committee will be considering a revised version of the bill, hopefully leading to a markup and a vote out of committee. Read more >

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King Coal’s Stages of Grief, Part 4: Bargaining for Delay

, senior energy analyst

This week’s post in my ongoing series focuses on the third stage of grief, bargaining. The U.S. coal industry continues to get hammered by a series of terrible earnings reports, an ongoing wave of bankruptcies, and falling bond prices. Since my last post, Alpha Natural Resources has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because of consistently and unusually low stock prices, and Arch Coal executed a 10-1 reverse stock split in an effort to delay the same fate. In the bargaining stage, the grieving person typically looks for ways to avoid the ultimate fate, or buy time. For the coal industry, the bargaining stage manifests itself as industry supporters trying to delay any attempt to limit pollution from coal, including action to reduce carbon emissions. Read more >

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King Coal’s Stages of Grief, Part 2: Financial Risk and the Economics of Coal

, senior energy analyst

This post continues my series on King Coal’s Stages of Grief, and focuses on more denial—this time about economics. Yesterday the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted that the production of coal from mountaintop removal (MTR) mining has decreased by 62 percent since 2008. And last month, Bank of America released its new Coal Policy, committing to phasing out financial support for mountaintop removal coal mining. Read more >

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