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Signalling 'End of an Era,' Another Coal Giant Topples


#1

Signalling 'End of an Era,' Another Coal Giant Topples

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Arch Coal, the United States' second largest coal supplier, on Monday filed for bankruptcy, signalling what environmentalists described as the "end of an era" as the country moves to more renewable, less polluting energy sources.


#2

It took less than 2 decades for the entire whale oil industry to vanish.


#3

So if that is their mine in the photos, this is what industry leaves for the public to clean up. Profits for the rich, clean up or not by us taxpayers. All investment should be blocked and all funds used to clean up this stain.


#4

Much of the Coal mined in Australia, Canada and the USA used to be shipped to China or Europe. I found this article fascinating.

https://www.superstation95.com/index.php/world/750

According to this not a single cargo ship is in transit between North America and Europe. Other reports indicate that the Baltic Dry Index, which is a number measuring number of ships in transit within European waters is at a record low.

Renewable energy generally means energy that can be generated at the local level without having to rely on foreign imports such as Coal and Oil. Environmentalists begin to recognize that the only future we have is one where we rely more and more on local economies.

The price of commodities plummets worldwide with a number of economies that once relied on the export of resources suffering and with there little ability for the "consumer economy" to keep buying things that the factories produce.


#5

Oh, rejoice and sing...the Clark Fork valley will be spared the mile-long one every hour coal trains that were predicted if the terminable was built.


#6

Having been involved in surface coal mine reclamation I was glad to read above that $75m was set aside for reclamation. Would that be above and in addition to the bond that must be posted (to complete the closing and reclamation of the mine in the event of contractor insolvency) to obtain the mine permit?

Here in the tri-state region of the upper Ohio River valley (Oh, Pa, WVa) worked on many and bid on many more projects to correct the worst environmental degradation and hazards by myriad coal operators of the past who declared bankruptcy and walked away from their messes. Funny how the principal individuals of many of those instances were able to keep their fortunes and are now regarded by many locals as "old money."


#7

I'm skeptical of this report. As far as I know, the coal loading port at Hampton Roads, Virginia is still running - shipping Appalachian and Midwestern coal to Europe. Southern West Virginia's very low volatile bituminous coal is still in demand for European steel-making - many small mines there have been bought out by French ArcelorMittal and some Russian companies.


#8

Now that Coal is considered evil and dirty. What the heck is going to replace Coal? What energy is going to be cost effective and efficient when there is NO sun or wind to back up an energy at night? The public won't support Nuclear Energy, won't support Natural Gas Energy, there is little left to choose from.


#9

http://www.agcanada.com/daily/baltic-dry-index-continues-downward-slide

I am not skeptical at all. Just because there ships still being loaded with coal , it does not mean they need be in transit. The Volume of shipping plummets.

Here in Vancouver the same ships have been anchored in port for weeks.

This speaks directly to Steel. There a massive overcapacity in steel with some 400 million tons more produced then consumed. This means the stuff is piling up and will take years to clear out excess inventory meaning less shipping required which speaks directly to the BDI plummeting to new lows. Cargo ships are sitting empty waiting for new orders.

Companies are not going to be buying more coal to make steel when the steel they make is not being sold.


#10

Besides being clean solar and wind energy, one they don't need to be transported and two that they free us from corporate tyranny, corruption and price fixing.


#11

Chalk this up to the fracking boom for natural gas, a cheap alternative to coal that releases about half as much carbon dioxide when burned. How long will it be until natural gas companies start filing for bankruptcy? Worldwide the demand for coal is still very strong. Chinese companies are building coal-burning plants in a number of developing countries and India has plans to triple its capacity for coal burning.


#14

In a sane world the government would initiate a crash program of solar and wind manufacturing and installation that would retrain these workers and provide paychecks that could be spent in their communities.


#15

What kind of energy can the United States use cost effectively to back up the solar and wind when neither of them do NOT operate very well without sun or wind.


#16

With Coal going down the toilet ..Old turtle neck himself with have to find a new sponsor...I am sure he wont have no problem finding new money to make him smile again..He is now a gun for hire..I wonder who his next idol of worship will be...HHmm How many more polluters do they harbor in Kentucky..Hey! I know.. he could come out in favor of new improved Chrystal Meth...Guaranteed to make you want to work longer harder and for less money...Hell you wont even need a break or lunch..Just as long as your working...You be happy..just keep them crystals coming.


#17

They ran out of profitable whales whose populations have never fully recovered, That Japan ,Norway and Iceland still practice this industry is disgusting. The demise of whaling was profit driven not by demand.


#18

What really needs to happen is a wartime effort to move the industrial nations to the new technologies, All this farting around with ten year plans isn't gonna get it done. Our own planet is fighting back and we must abide by that reality and do our part right effin NOW!


#19

You do realize of course that many peoples of the world have no electricity or only intermittent power. Yet somehow they manage to survive. It's the damnedest thing. The privileges of this life that you seem so frightened to see circumscribed are an anomaly and are not sustainable. Energy from coal only seems "affordable" because the true costs to a healthy planet from mining and burning are not reflected in the per-ton cost. There is a recent PBS 1hr currently being aired Power to the People that is a fair and balanced (imo) reflection on the current scene. Government picking winners in the energy sector through subsidies does not effectively confront our crisis. Subsidies can take many forms from direct monetary enticements to - as in the case of coal - inadequate regulation to recover the costs to the land, air, water, and ultimately our health. A carbon tax, applicable to all human activities, no exceptions, would more quickly end the reign of Old King Coal.

But don't despair, I do believe that the reports of the death of coal are greatly exaggerated (sadly and with apologies to Twain.) Here's a speculation to warm the grates of your coal-fired boiler: Suppose the major coal magnates got together and decided to teach us all a lesson, publicly proclaim "uncle" and just shut it all down, all together and all at once. There would be such a clamor for that dirty rock and for the public lynching of environmentalists as to make your head spin. And there's the rub. As long as we continue to say that there is no alternative, then sufficient alternatives are not imagined, developed, and deployed. The affordability of coal is an illusion. Judging by the tone of the PR campaign being waged by big coal here in Appalachian coal country, the scenario I imagined does not seem far-fetched.


#20

Right you are!

Everyone is applauding the demise of inexpensive, readily available, unlimited energy as if that is a good thing. None of you all have even an inkling of an idea of what this all means for humanity. Oh, it can only get better right?


#21

Yes, I am aware of countries who do not have electricity and manage to survive. I have noticed that countries who are in need of electricity use Solar Panels to provide them with not only electricity but to power the water pump so the rural population can have access to water for cooking. With the current Presidential Administration, there has been a outcry of eliminating coal because it is dirty and pollutes the air. I am not sure how much longer coal can survive as the main source of cost effective energy in the United States.