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"A year after Trump's election, coal's future remains bleak"
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: November 13, 2017 05:10PM

Trump's Dept of Transportation recommends...

A year after Trump's election, coal's future remains bleak
[www.reuters.com]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A year after Donald Trump was elected president on a promise to revive the ailing U.S. coal industry, the sector’s long-term prospects for growth and hiring remain as bleak as ever.
A Reuters review of mining data shows an industry that has seen only modest gains in jobs and production this year - much of it from a temporary uptick in foreign demand for U.S. coal rather than presidential policy changes.

U.S. utilities are shutting coal-fired power plants at a rapid pace and shifting to cheap natural gas, along with wind and solar power. And domestic demand makes up about 90 percent of the market for U.S. coal.

”We’re not planning to build any additional coal facilities,“ said Melissa McHenry, a spokeswoman for American Electric Power, one of the largest U.S. utilities. “The future for coal is dictated by economics … and you can’t make those kinds of investments based on one administration’s politics.” Coal plants now make up 47 percent of AEP’s capacity for power generation, a figure it plans to shrink to 33 percent by 2030.

The situation highlights the limitations of presidential policy on major industries and global economic trends. As some energy experts have said all along, the forces that will make or break mining are well beyond the powers of the Oval Office. A White House official did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump has likely done all he can do to help the industry, said Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association, which represents major U.S. coal companies. “The government is no longer against us,“ he said. ”We now only have market forces to contend with.” Trump has taken action on many promises he made to coal interests in states that helped him win the election. The president started the process of killing former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, meant to reduce carbon emissions from power plants; ended an Obama-era moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands; ditched limits on dumping coal waste into streams; and started withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Now Trump’s Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, is attempting to push a rule through the independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that would subsidize power plants that store at least a 90-day supply of coal on site. The goal is to extend the life of some coal burning power plants, a move Perry says will make the electric grid more reliable.

While the full impact of Trump’s coal policy could take years to understand, the changes so far are unlikely to boost domestic demand, energy analysts and utility officials said.
Trump has cast the coal industry as a victim of burdensome regulation. The industry has lost more than 40 percent of its work force in less than a decade and seen production drop to its lowest levels since 1978. Its share of the power market has fallen to less than a third from about half in 2003. “We’re going to bring the coal industry back 100 percent,” Trump said at a rally in Virginia in August of 2016.

So far, progress has been limited. U.S. coal production is on track to rise more than 8 percent in 2017 over the previous year, to 790 million tons, according to the Energy Information Administration. But 2018 output is expected to decline.
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Re: "A year after Trump's election, coal's future remains bleak"
Posted by: pdq
Date: November 13, 2017 05:18PM
Quote

Now Trump’s Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, is attempting to push a rule through the independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that would subsidize power plants that store at least a 90-day supply of coal on site. The goal is to extend the life of some coal burning power plants, a move Perry says will make the electric grid more reliable.

So..umm...like if all of the natural gas pipelines were to go down simultaneously, then coal plants (that are presumably undamaged by this event) can send those unfortunate areas electricity over power lines that are also undamaged?

What event would that be? Sort of like a neutron bomb that only hits natural gas lines?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/13/2017 05:20PM by pdq.
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Re: "A year after Trump's election, coal's future remains bleak"
Posted by: Speedy
Date: November 13, 2017 06:40PM
Trump voters in West Virginia coal country don't care that he lied to them. They would vote for him again if the election was held today but they also plan to vote for him in 2020. You can't fix stupid.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: "A year after Trump's election, coal's future remains bleak"
Posted by: hal
Date: November 13, 2017 06:53PM
Quote
Speedy
Trump voters in West Virginia coal country don't care that he lied to them. They would vote for him again if the election was held today but they also plan to vote for him in 2020. You can't fix stupid.

That would IMMEDIATELY change if the plant they worked at closed.
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Re: "A year after Trump's election, coal's future remains bleak"
Posted by: Speedy
Date: November 13, 2017 07:10PM
Quote
hal
Quote
Speedy
Trump voters in West Virginia coal country don't care that he lied to them. They would vote for him again if the election was held today but they also plan to vote for him in 2020. You can't fix stupid.

That would IMMEDIATELY change if the plant they worked at closed.

Nope, they would still vote for him. If a mine closes, it isn't Trump's fault (which is true) and they would back him just as they did in 2016. There was a lengthy article in the Washington Post, which I cannot find, about this and nobody was in the mood to change their opinion about Trump. Maybe it was the NY Times...



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: "A year after Trump's election, coal's future remains bleak"
Posted by: pdq
Date: November 13, 2017 07:29PM
Quote
Speedy
Quote
hal
Quote
Speedy
Trump voters in West Virginia coal country don't care that he lied to them. They would vote for him again if the election was held today but they also plan to vote for him in 2020. You can't fix stupid.

That would IMMEDIATELY change if the plant they worked at closed.

Nope, they would still vote for him. If a mine closes, it isn't Trump's fault (which is true) and they would back him just as they did in 2016. There was a lengthy article in the Washington Post, which I cannot find, about this and nobody was in the mood to change their opinion about Trump. Maybe it was the NY Times...

People really don't like to acknowledge they've been suckered.
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Re: "A year after Trump's election, coal's future remains bleak"
Posted by: hal
Date: November 13, 2017 07:38PM
But once they do, they are seriously pissed off!
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Re: "A year after Trump's election, coal's future remains bleak"
Posted by: sekker
Date: November 13, 2017 10:30PM
There are more workers at risk at Toys R Us than all US coal miners. This has been a joke the whole time.
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Re: "A year after Trump's election, coal's future remains bleak"
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: November 14, 2017 12:56AM
all the coalers are chomping at the bit to vote for their Messiah again, not to mention everyone that hates "libruls."

Speedy, I also read that, and Lux posted one, too
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Re: "A year after Trump's election, coal's future remains bleak"
Posted by: samintx
Date: November 14, 2017 06:39AM
Coal is still dirty. Archaic.
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Re: "A year after Trump's election, coal's future remains bleak"
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: November 14, 2017 08:26AM
Reality ? Coal EMPLOYMENT is always going to drop. Worker intensive deep shaft mining is pretty well dead. Mountaintop removal (Did you know that the Appalachia mountains have been pretty much been converted into the Appalachia plateaus ?)

Coal industry profits ? Well, those got better but are still not great.

Remember folks... the economic engine drives political decision making, NOT the voters. Corporations are People ! People are Soylent Green !
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Re: "A year after Trump's election, coal's future remains bleak"
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: November 14, 2017 08:29AM
Quote
sekker
There are more workers at risk at Toys R Us than all US coal miners. This has been a joke the whole time.

Well, it's not a funny joke. It's upended American politics.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: "A year after Trump's election, coal's future remains bleak"
Posted by: mattkime
Date: November 14, 2017 10:33AM
Quote
rjmacs
Quote
sekker
There are more workers at risk at Toys R Us than all US coal miners. This has been a joke the whole time.

Well, it's not a funny joke. It's upended American politics.

Its the story we've told ourselves about the upending of American politics.

I think in time we're going to learn a lot about the election AND how gerrymandering has contributed to the awful state.



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