Posts Tagged "Coal Production"

“The only thing different between this year and previous years is that our political leaders, their lobbyist friends, and the billionaire coal tycoons are cutting safety regulations in order to make an additional dollar.”

– Gary Bentley, a former underground coal miner from Eastern Kentucky, writing about the rise in work-related coal mine deaths this year, even as the number of workers and mine output shrink. Nationally, there have already been more deaths in the first half of 2017 than in the entire previous year.

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“A lot of West Virginians understood that they were rolling the dice with Trump. …  [They] realize there is not going to be a gigantic return of coal.”

– West Virginia professor and historian Chuck Keeney, who has written extensively on the state’s coal industry and its miners,

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“Even though we are in the foothills of coal country, it was not outrageous for us to look at energy efficiency and renewable energy as one of the pathways to helping this community transform.”

– Bobby Clark of Midwest Clean Energy Enterprise.Clark, on efforts to rebuild West Liberty, Kentucky with a master plan based on green buildings and renewable energy after much of it was destroyed by a tornado in 2012.

Image: KY Court of Justice via flickr creative commons license.

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“When are we ever going to be economically free, not serfs to the coal industry, unless there is economic diversity?”

– Filmmaker Mari-Lynn Evans, whose documentary “Blood on the Mountain” explores the troubled history of West Virginia’s coal industry, as quoted in a story about the state’s efforts to revitalize its economy independent of coal.

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“If you are tied to coal, you’ve got problems.”

– Warren Buffett, speaking to shareholders at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.

Image: Fortune Live Media via flickr Creative Commons

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 “The future for coal in the United States? There is no future.”

– Former Duke Energy CEO and Chairman Jim Rogers, speaking at the release of a new report calling coal’s decline one of the most “spectacular market collapses in equity history.” The combined market value of the four largest U.S. coal companies fell from $33 billion to $150 million in five short years.

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“Responsible policymakers should be honest about what’s going on in the U.S. coal sector – including the causes of coal’s decline and unlikeliness of its resurgence – rather than offer false hope that the glory days can be revived.”

– From an analysis examining the prospects for a recovery of U.S. coal production and employment, which concludes that President Trump’s efforts to roll back environmental regulations are unlikely to materially improve economic conditions in America’s coal communities.

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“If you’d told me I’d be working in solar, I would’ve never believed you. I always thought I’d bounce from coal job to coal job until all the mines closed and I had to leave.”

– Former West Virginia coal miner Robert Atkins, who was retrained as a solar technician after being laid off from his coal job and now works as a crew chief overseeing installations for startup developer Solar Holler.

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“People realize that coal isn’t going to be around here forever and people need to re-tool themselves and get occupations within newer industries.”

– Lee Van Horn, the son of a coal mine worker, who is manager of the 64-turbine Locust Ridge Wind Power Project in central Pennsylvania.

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“No one’s looking for new coal reserves. The decline in coal demand has meant existing reserves will last a lot longer.’’

– Robert Godby, a professor of energy economics at the University of Wyoming, commenting on how the Trump administration’s rollback of a moratorium on federal coal leases may actually do little to help the coal industry recover.

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“It sounds really bold to say, but what we’re trying to do is to rebuild the Appalachian economy from the ground up. … We don’t get into the moral argument of coal being good or bad, we just talk about jobs and entrepreneurship.”

– Brandon Dennison, co-founder and CEO of Coalfield Development Corp, a nonprofit that offers out-of-work coal miners a chance to learn new skills, including solar installation.

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The “comparative economics for coal, renewables and gas place clean coal firmly at the bottom of the stack in the U.S.”

– From a series of Citigroup reports to investors earlier this year in which the bank said it expects coal plant retirements of about 5 gigawatts in 2017 – enough to power roughly 3.4 million homes for a year.

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