coal


Department of Energy Releases Bogus Study to Prop Up Coal Plants

, senior energy analyst

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 >

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A miner waiting for a black lung screening. Photo: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Black Lung, Abandoned Mines, Struggling Communities—And No Leadership

, senior energy analyst

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 >

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
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Photo: CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

The Truth about Coal, in Under Three Minutes

, senior energy analyst

Coal’s been on the way out for a while now. Why is that? For a quick and accessible look at the state of the coal industry—where it’s been and where it’s going—check out the new video from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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Photo: San Juan Citizens Alliance/EcoFlight

Making the Leap from Coal to What Could Be: New Mexico’s Energy Future

, Energy analyst

After decades and decades of commitment to coal, New Mexico is rapidly heading toward a future that’s coal free.

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Mr.TinDC/Creative Commons (Flickr)
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Despite Rhetoric, Coal Jobs Not Set to Increase in the Future

, senior energy analyst

Given the administration’s rhetoric around coal, you’d think that the president sprinkles coal dust on his breakfast cereal each morning. That’s not true—well… at least as far as I know, anyway—but the problem is that there is a great deal of misinformation out there around coal (and honestly, on a whole lot of other issues too). Read more >

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