Much has been written on coal and coal miners since the president began campaigning in earnest in 2016. The president continues to push for a misguided federal bailout of the coal industry—a blatant political payoff to campaign donors using taxpayer money with no long-term solutions for coal workers. As is typical with this administration, substance and science and evidence are inconsequential compared to ideology, and their attempts to bail out money-losing coal and nuclear plants are no exception. Here’s a quick take on how we got here and what to expect next. Read more >
August 9, 2018 7:26 PM EDT
July 20, 2018 9:43 AM EDT
More indications that there is no national reason for a proposed financial rescue of coal plants came out this week. Power grid operator PJM says there is no emergency; a leading coal industry representative says we don’t have any measure or understanding of what is gained in terms of reliability; and financial estimates are reported at $17 – 35 billion per year.
July 5, 2018 10:23 AM EDT
I’ve written previously about my family’s experience with black lung and how the disease is making a frightening resurgence. A bit like a miner’s headlamp in the darkness, two recent federal reports and several federal scientific studies shine a light on the disease and its implications—and policymakers should take notice.
April 10, 2018 9:40 AM EDT
A few months ago, the Department of Energy (DOE) made a request to one of its national labs, the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), to study the impacts on the electricity grid of a severe cold snap called the bomb cyclone that hit the Northeast in early January 2018. NETL conducts important R&D on fossil energy technologies. The report released last week uses deeply flawed assumptions to inaccurately paint coal (and to a lesser extent, fuel oil) as the savior that prevented large-scale blackouts during the extreme cold, while greatly understating the contribution from renewable energy sources. It also estimates a bogus value for coal providing these so-called “resiliency” services. One has to wonder whether this deeply flawed and misleading study is part of the administration’s continued attempts to prop up the coal industry at all costs Read more >
March 16, 2018 3:19 PM EDT
My grandfather was the son of Italian immigrants—many of whom settled in north central West Virginia to work in the coal mines. He worked hard his whole life and built a better life for himself and our family. According to family legend, he famously told my grandmother early in their courtship, “Stick with me, and you’ll wear diamonds.” She did.
My grandfather died of black lung disease in 1988.
Thirty years later, there’s no way that other families should be going through what mine and so many others have. And yet today the disease is making a strong and frightening resurgence. How is black lung related to economic development and mine reclamation? It turns out Congress has an opportunity to address all three by passing the RECLAIM Act—but only if leaders don’t take their eyes off the ball. Read more >