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Even in Coal Country, the Fight for an Industry
New York Times/Yahoo ^ | May 30, 2012 | Eric Lipton

Posted on 05/30/2012 4:47:48 AM PDT by MulberryDraw

LOUISA, Ky. — For generations, coal has been king in this Appalachian town. It provided heat, light and jobs for the hundreds of people who worked in the nearby coal mines and the smoke-coughing Big Sandy power plant that burned their black bounty.

But now, coal is in a corner. Across the United States, the industry is under siege, threatened by new regulations from Washington, environmentalists fortified by money from Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York City, and natural gas companies intent on capturing much of the nation’s energy market.

So when the operator of the Big Sandy plant announced last year that it would be switching from coal to cleaner, cheaper natural gas, people here took it as the worst betrayal imaginable.

“Have you lost your mind?” State Representative Rocky Adkins, a Democrat and one of Kentucky’s most powerful politicians, thundered at Michael G. Morris, the chairman of the plant’s operator,...

(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: environment; obama
"Have you lost your mind?". Submitted for quote of the day by a democrat.
1 posted on 05/30/2012 4:47:51 AM PDT by MulberryDraw
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To: MulberryDraw

“Have you lost your mind?” State Representative Rocky Adkins, a Democrat and one of Kentucky’s most powerful politicians, thundered at Michael G. Morris, the chairman of the plant’s operator,...

Hey Rocky turn your wrath in the right direction, it’s your party that’s causing this problem not American Electric Power!


2 posted on 05/30/2012 5:01:07 AM PDT by Recon Dad (Gas & Petroleum Junkie)
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To: Recon Dad
What hypocrisy.
3 posted on 05/30/2012 5:04:09 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
If Rocky wants to make his point he's got to do what other dems are doing and drop out of the democratic party.

We had stories of two defections in today's posts and I would suspect many more to come in the next 160 days as the end of “hope and change” comes to pass.

4 posted on 05/30/2012 5:15:13 AM PDT by Recon Dad (Gas & Petroleum Junkie)
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To: MulberryDraw
The goal of Bambi in particular and democrats in general has us all sitting in the dark and being cold.

Think that's hyperbole? Think again.

5 posted on 05/30/2012 5:21:04 AM PDT by Jerrybob (Truth -- the new hate speech.)
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To: MulberryDraw

“Tacked up on the wall in a cramped office in Columbus, Ohio, that serves as the Midwest headquarters for the Sierra Club is a map of the United States with the headline “Coal Plants Under Target.” Dozens of color-coded pins form a giant U shape — from Minnesota, south to Missouri, east to Kentucky and then up to Ohio — with each marking a plant that the Sierra Club is determined to shut down.”


6 posted on 05/30/2012 5:33:07 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Recon Dad
The Thomas Hill power plant near Moberly, Missouri is on this list. The Sierra Club is using a new technique called “New Source Review” to hammer any plant that does routine maintenance.
7 posted on 05/30/2012 5:42:49 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

New Source Review has been around for at least 20 years.

By the way, if coal is less cost efficient and dirtier than natural gas, I’m not sure why anyone other than coal miners and their bosses should be upset that plants are switching away from it.


8 posted on 05/30/2012 5:58:28 AM PDT by babble-on
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To: MulberryDraw
But now, coal is in a corner. Across the United States, the industry is under siege, threatened by new regulations from Washington, environmentalists fortified by money from Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York City, and natural gas companies intent on capturing much of the nation’s energy market.
. . . switching from coal to cleaner, cheaper natural gas . . .
When you read about the natural gas market, you learn that at present NG is so plentiful that they just can’t sell enough of it to make it worthwhile to drill for it. Basically electric utilities are the core of the coal market, and the only disadvantage NG has over any other fuel is the difficulty in carrying enough of it to power transportation. But running a pipeline from a well to a stationary power plant is a cinch. If the market price per BTU of heat (measured as the lower heating value, without counting the heat of vaporization of the H2O product of combustion) for NG is gonna be lower than the price per BTU of coal, it’s pretty hard to see anyone making money mining (or, for that matter, transporting) coal.
Pretty hard to envision any politician being able to promote a subsidy to keep producing coal, with its sulfur content and ash, after all the hard work that’s been put into demonizing carbon . . .

9 posted on 05/30/2012 6:09:49 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: babble-on

Actually, the New “new source review” is being construed to include routine maintenance.

Sierra argues ANY repair reopens the plant’s operating permit, forcing a 20 year old plant to meet best available technology.


10 posted on 05/30/2012 6:11:03 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Recon Dad

If Rocky wants to make his point he’s got to do what other dems are doing and drop out of the democratic party.

...or better yet would be an attempt at turning the party back into the party that ruled DEE CEE for what, over forty years? Couldn’t have been that bad back in the day of FDR, JFK, HST, LBJ, etc. It isn’t the same party, any more than the Republican party is the same.

Thus maintaining the two party system, but becoming more American in principle, belief, and action. I long for the day seemingly unattainable, that will see the founding documents, the twin towers of the Republic, back in place as the supreme law of the land.


11 posted on 05/30/2012 6:22:13 AM PDT by wita
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To: babble-on

if coal is less cost efficient and dirtier than natural gas,

A monster if not a monstrous IF, without a shred of proof seen here. Unmentioned also would be the cost benefit comparison between any energy source and coal.

Coal is not the dirty source of energy and heat it used to be back in the day. Thanks in part to earlier interventions, we are enjoying air water and environment so clean that to make it cleaner is stretching the cost benefit scale all out of proportion.


12 posted on 05/30/2012 6:30:05 AM PDT by wita
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To: MulberryDraw

They will just convert to gas and everything will be ok. Well at least until the environmental nuts gin up a new study that says the NG is bad and then they will work to get the NG plants shut down. It is all a scam to destroy the economic might and freedom of the US. This is all about control and money for the environmentalists.


13 posted on 05/30/2012 6:38:13 AM PDT by Ratman83
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To: MulberryDraw

I have fond memories of growing up in small town U.S.A. in the 50s, when you did not heat your home indirectly with coal produced electricity, you heated it directly with the stuff.

Our coal bin was outside the house and it was my big brothers job to haul it in in buckets, I longed to be a big boy and get to carry in the coal, that is until I actually got the job and found out that it wasn’t all that much fun after all.

The smell of burning coal was all over town and it was a good and familiar smell, it meant the people inside those houses were warm even on the coldest days and nights.


14 posted on 05/30/2012 7:08:24 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Obama versus Romney? Cyanide versus arsenic.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks; babble-on
Congress passed New Source Review in the 70s and it has been in and out of court until 2007 and the SCOTUS decision which was thought to be the last.

Bush declined to implement, punting it to the next prez. Bush knew the enviros wouldn't sue him because he would be out of office in 18 months.

The issue has always been about maintenance. It's obvious that a new plant would face the revue, but industry used maintenance of existing plants to increase the capacity of the existing plants, avoiding the revue.

So now the enviros are going after them and it is not economically reasonable for industry to go back and retrofit the older/smaller plants.

15 posted on 05/30/2012 9:26:14 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: Ratman83
They will just convert to gas and everything will be ok. Well at least until the environmental nuts gin up a new study that says the NG is bad and then they will work to get the NG plants shut down.

Current supplies of NG rely on fracking. The Enviros have been rabidly trying to discredit that process and get it halted as well, and if a moratorium is declared, the price of NG will skyrocket, along with any spin-offs from home heating fuel to electricity to chemical feedstocks. Having all our eggs in one basket makes us far less secure.

It is all a scam to destroy the economic might and freedom of the US.

It has been since Greenpeace got seed money from the KGB during the Cold War, and that is precisely the goal. It has been wildly effective, as so much of the movement of manufacturing jobs overseas and south was motivated by the expense of moving-target environmental regulations.

This is all about control and money for the environmentalists.

Actually, it is about the destruction of America, although they are extorting some significant money in the process. The enviros have gone from Conservationists to rabid dirt-worshiping attack dogs with no sense of scientific reality.

16 posted on 05/30/2012 9:40:33 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Ben Ficklin
I happen to know that one of the targeted power plants has received a demand to upgrade to best available technology based solely on the repair of a steam line.
New Source was initially designed to cover expansions, not maintenance.
I've been in the energy biz since 1980 and am aware of the history of NSPS.
17 posted on 05/30/2012 9:46:11 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

They went after one in Texas over the baghouse filters.


18 posted on 05/30/2012 10:12:14 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: MulberryDraw

Self preservation by the power company official. Obama has promised to destroy the coal industry; he’s just getting his company out in front before the carnage.


19 posted on 05/30/2012 10:16:29 AM PDT by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: Ben Ficklin

An executive with one power company told me he has spent close to $1 million in time and printing copies of every repair done on the generators. A GS-12 at EPA thinks up something else and the utility has to jump.


20 posted on 05/30/2012 10:50:20 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Smokin' Joe
The enviros have gone from Conservationists to rabid dirt-worshiping attack dogs with no sense of scientific reality.

You summed it up nicely, my wording would have got me banned. You were nice.

21 posted on 05/30/2012 11:42:48 AM PDT by Ratman83
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To: Ratman83

Thanks. It isn’t what you write, it’s how you edit it. I write what I think sometimes, then go back and remove/replace terms which might not be appropriate. (8^D)


22 posted on 05/30/2012 12:59:17 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe

I have a faulty editor or I am too lazy to do it, take your pick.


23 posted on 05/30/2012 1:05:13 PM PDT by Ratman83
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To: MulberryDraw
Do you think they'll really come out in support of him again?


24 posted on 05/30/2012 1:33:49 PM PDT by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: Ratman83

The Sierras’ next attack is on natural gas, which they previously thought was a godsend but now have decided is dirty. Every kind of hydrocarbon is targeted by these elitists, in favor of solar and wind.
Gas is America’s ace. They want to take it away.


25 posted on 05/30/2012 2:20:40 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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