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U.S. Workers In Limbo; Coal Mines Suddenly Close

July 22, 2019

 

"On 1 July, Missy Cole was notified by her bank that her husband’s most recent paycheck had bounced, leaving their account more than $1,000 in the red. Her husband had worked as a coalminer for nearly three years at one of the eastern Kentucky mines operated by Revelation Energy affiliate Blackjewel mining.

 

But, both companies had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, a financial move that has implications far beyond just laying off staff as the ex-workers now wait for bankruptcy proceedings to play out. Critics say the move is a ploy increasingly used in the struggling industry to avoid paying workers what they are owed.
 

“A layoff is always expected with miners. It’s always in the back of your mind and it’s no surprise when it happens in the coal industry. But this is much more than a layoff,” Cole told the Guardian.

 

We have absolutely no access to our bank accounts. Those accounts are still negative, and falling deeper into the negative daily. We cannot even touch his 401(k) to withdraw money to survive on without the signature of the Blackjewel mining CEO or his personnel.”

 

Blackjewel is the third large U.S. coal company to declare bankruptcy since May 2019, despite promises from Donald Trump that he would save the coal industry and it's jobs.

 

Since Trump took office, about 2,000 jobs have been added to the coal industry, which currently employs an estimated 53,000 workers. The industry has shed more than 30,000 jobs in the past decade, driven by automation and changes in the energy industry, as renewable sources recently surpassed coal production for the first time ever in the US, and natural gas production hit a record high in 2018."

 

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Faulty Reporting On U.S. Coal Supplies

October 30, 2013

 

"America does not have 200 years in coal “reserves” since  much of the coal that is now left in the ground cannot be mined profitably, according to a major new report  from the Boulder, CO-based nonprofit Clean Energy Action (CEA). The CEA analysis shows that the U.S. appears to have reached its “peak coal” point in 2008 and now faces a rocky future over the next 10-20 years of rising coal production costs, potentially more bankruptcies among coal mining companies, and higher fuel bills for utility consumers."

 

YOU'RE RUNNING A HECKUVA HU$TLE, SPANKY!!

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It's Now Cheaper To Build A New Wind Farm

November 16, 2018

 

"Inflation dictates that the cost of living will continue to riseexcept, it seems, when it comes to renewable energy. The cost of building a new utility-scale solar or wind farm has now dropped below the cost of operating an existing coal plant, according to an analysis by the investment bank Lazard. Accounting for government tax credits and other energy incentives would bring the cost even lower.

 

"There are some scenarios, in some parts of the U.S., where it is cheaper to build and operate wind and solar than keep a coal plant running," said a Lazard banker who was involved in the report. "You have seen coal plants shutting down because of this."

 

The bank noted that this analysis applies to developed economies, and excludes places like India and China, parts of which are very dependent on coal. But in the U.S., coal plant construction has ground to a near halt, and many utilities are successfully making the case for renewables to their customers. This year has seen the second-higher number of coal plant retirements on record."

 

 

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Two Wyoming Coal Mines Close, After Bankruptcy Filing

July 1, 2019

 

"Two coal mines in Wyoming closed and sent 700 workers home Monday afternoon after their owner filed for bankruptcy, the latest blow to a region that has been battered by an economic downturn in the fossil fuel sector.

 

Blackjewel LLC, which operates Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines near Gillette, sent the workers home after a bank denied the company $20 Million in financing to continue operations during bankruptcy proceedings, CEO Jeffery Hoops said.

 

Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr are the fourth- and sixth-largest producing coal mines in the country. The sudden closure hearkens back to March 2016, when two nearby mines laid off more than 460 workers, touching off economic shock waves that are still being felt in the Powder River Basin today.

 

Blackjewel owes at least $500 Million in liabilities, including about $6 Million owed to employees, according to court documents. Its financial problems, along with much of the coal sector, come amid increased competition from natural gas and renewables."

 

 

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Nearly Half Of U.S. Coal Produced By Companies

That Have Declared Bankruptcy = Trump Wont Fix That

December 9, 2016

 

"When Peabody Energy, the biggest coal producer in the US, declared bankruptcy in April, it joined a long list of coal compatriots in the chapter 11 club.

 

Arch Coal, the country's second biggest producer, filed for bankruptcy in January, and Alpha Natural Resources, the fourth biggest, sought chapter 11 protection in August 2015 (it emerged from bankruptcy in July 2016).

 

But that doesn't mean the companies stopped mining or producing the fuel. In fact, approximately 44% of US coal now comes from companies that have declared bankruptcy sometime in the last four years. Those are troubling stats for President-elect Donald Trump, who campaigned on the promise of bringing the country's declining coal industry back to life.

 

By choosing Scott Pruitt, an outspoken opponent of environmental rules and ally of the fossil fuel industry, to head the EPA, Donald Trump seems to be sending a message that, as promised, his administration will attempt to roll back air quality regulations and open more federal land to coal mining.

 

But those efforts won't counteract the market trend enough to restore coal to its former prominence. Energy industry executives have suggested they aren't likely to return to coal no matter what Trump does, and even Mitch McConnell warned that it's hard to tell whether conservatives' pro-coal efforts will really bring business back, since "it's a private sector activity."

 

Throughout his campaign, Trump repeatedly blamed what he called "Obama's war on coal" for this stark decline, alleging that government regulation was killing American jobs and making the country less energy independent.

 

The sector is indeed in a downward spiral. Coal production in the beginning of 2016 hit the lowest level it's been since a major strike in 1981, and that the current number of coal employees (approximately 66,000 in 2015) is the lowest on record since the US Energy Information Administration began collecting data in 1978.

 

But while air quality rules and renewable energy subsidies have created incentives to move away from coal, the irony is that the real opponent in the "war" is the free market."

 

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Bailouts For Spanky's Bankruptcy-Bros????

July 24, 2019

 

"President Donald Trump will head to West Virginia on Wednesday to deliver remarks at a fundraiser hosted by coal baron Bob Murray, underscoring the close relationship the coal industry has with the White House even as the industry steadily declines.

 

The fundraiser comes in the middle of another turbulent month for coal, with Blackhawk Mining the latest company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Meanwhile, suffering Appalachian coal miners afflicted by black lung disease have been lobbying Congress this week, as coal jobs and benefits ebb away.

 

Murray, CEO of Murray Energy, will host Trump in Wheeling, West Virginia, on Wednesday at a private fundraising committee reception. Attendees of the fundraiser include West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R), among other lawmakers. In a June letter from Murray requesting Justice’s attendance, the coal executive emphasized re-electing Trump.

 

“The future of the coal industry and our family livelihoods depend on President Trump being re-elected,” Murray wrote. He also advised donations of at least $150 per attendee to the Trump Victory fundraising committee.

 

The coal magnate is a long-time supporter of the president and has maintained ties with the administration. He has pushed for the rollback of environmental regulations through a “wish list” given to the administration, in addition to backing a bailout for struggling coal and nuclear plants. freaked-out-smiley-emoticon.gif   Trump in turn has repeatedly lauded “beautiful clean coal” as a key U.S. product."

 

 

 

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As CALIFORNIA Goes....

SO GOES THE NATION!!!

 

 

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"War On Coal" Decided In California, LONG AGO!!

July 23, 2019

 

"In a series of demagogic tweets, Donald Trump recently attacked Obama-era “clean power plan” policies as a “war on coal” and danger to U.S. energy independence.

 

If there is a war on coal — as the president thinks — it’s long been decided in California and most of the West.

 

In 2008, coal comprised 18.2% of California’s electricity mix. By 2018, that number had fallen to 3%, with virtually all the coal coming from a single plant in Utah. This plant is scheduled to be retired within five years and replaced with cleaner resources, pushing California coal generation to zero."

 

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Trump’s USDA Is Letting Factories With Troubling Safety Records Slaughter Chickens Even Faster

October 3, 2019

 

"Sixty miles northeast of Atlanta, a chicken statue atop a 25-foot monument proclaims the small city of Gainesville, Georgia, the “Poultry Capital of the World.” In the rolling hills outside of town, white feathers trail the trucks turning into a slaughterhouse operated by a local company called Fieldale Farms.

 

The Fieldale factory employs about 1,900 people. A lawn sign advertises jobs for $11-plus an hour and a big banner shouts “Think Safe, Work Safe.” But, in recent years, according to federal safety records obtained by ProPublica, the factory has been the site of several grisly accidents, resulting in hospitalizations, amputations and death."

 

 

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America's Largest Private Coal Miner Files For Bankruptcy

October 29, 2019

 

"The slow death of the American coal industry has forced Murray Energy, the largest private coal miner in the United States, to file for bankruptcy protection Tuesday.

 

Murray Energy's bankruptcy has been telegraphed for years. It recently failed to make payments to lenders, and the company entered into a forbearance agreement that bought it time to negotiate a restructuring. But that grace period came and went, and Murray Energy was unable to pay its bills. S&P Global Ratings downgraded the company's credit rating to "default" earlier this month.
 
Donald Trump's election in 2016 had raised hopes in the coal industry for a revival. The president moved swiftly to slash environmental regulations and even installed a former coal lobbyist to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. But the deregulatory push has been overwhelmed by market forces. Coal just can't compete with cheap natural gas and the plunging cost of solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy.
 
Power companies are ditching coal in favor of cleaner alternatives at a rapid pace. U.S. power plants are expected to consume less coal next year than at any point since President Jimmy Carter was in the White House, according to government forecasts released earlier this month."
 
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Mining Congress Journal, August 1966Air Pollution And The Coal Industry

 

“Growing demands for cleaner air have serious implications for the coal industry since more than half of the coal used today goes for generation of electricity and the coal-burning electric utilities are most likely to be affected by any air pollution restrictions. Garvey reviews the pollution in coal and discusses ordinances that have been passed to restrict use of fuels containing in excess of one percent sulfur.

 

Among the gaseous materials discharged from the stack is carbon dioxide. This is not generally considered to be a pollutant inasmuch as it has never been demonstrated to have any adverse effects on plants or animals. However, to illustrate the far-reaching aspects of the air pollution problem, it should be noted that serious studies are underway to determine whether more restrictions should be placed on the emission of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. There is evidence that the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is increasing rapidly as a result of the combustion of fossil fuels. If the future rate of increase continues as it is at the present, it has been predicted that, because the CO2 envelope reduces radiation, the temperature of the earths atmosphere will increase and that vast changes in the climates of the earth will result. Such changes in temperature will cause melting of the polar icecaps, which, in turn, would result in the inundation of many coastal cities, including New York and London.” 

 

 

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BEYOND COAL!!!

January 30, 2020

 

"I know I’m not the only one who thinks that this first month of 2020 has already felt like a year. The news is depressing and scary, and some of it is infuriating. But here’s something uplifting you may have missed -- our Beyond Coal advocates and partners have had an incredible month, including five coal plant retirement announcements and big new commitments to clean energy."

 

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17 hours ago, Phoenix68 said:

 

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BEYOND COAL!!!

January 30, 2020

 

"I know I’m not the only one who thinks that this first month of 2020 has already felt like a year. The news is depressing and scary, and some of it is infuriating. But here’s something uplifting you may have missed -- our Beyond Coal advocates and partners have had an incredible month, including five coal plant retirement announcements and big new commitments to clean energy."

 

 

 

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"OINK!!  OINK!!  OINK!!  OINK!!  OINK!!  OINK!!  OINK!!  OINK!!  OINK!!"

 

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