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  • After dismal 2016, shale gas drillers begin to turn a corner

    07/04/2017 7:45:13 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jul 4, 2017 11:21 AM EDT | Michael Rubinkam
    Pennsylvania’s drilling industry is showing signs of life. Natural gas producers drilled more than twice as many shale wells in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period last year. About 20 additional drilling rigs are exploring for natural gas and fracking crews are suddenly in short supply. One big reason is that natural gas prices have recovered from 20-year lows, nearly doubling since last year. …
  • Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant To Shut Down In 2019

    05/30/2017 10:13:29 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 19 replies
    NPR ^ | May 30, 2017 11:58 AM ET | Merrit Kennedy
    The company that owns the Three Mile Island nuclear plant, site of the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history, announced that it plans to shutter the facility in 2019 unless the state of Pennsylvania steps in to keep it open. The plant near Harrisburg, Pa., hasn’t been profitable for the past five years, according to owner Exelon Corp. The company announced last week that it failed to auction off future energy production from Three Mile Island for the third year in a row. “Today is a difficult day, not just for the 675 talented men and women who have dedicated...
  • Review: Coal terminal would boost global climate-warming gas [Longview WA]

    04/29/2017 6:02:03 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 22 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Apr 28, 2017 8:22 PM EDT | Phuong Le
    A coal-export terminal proposed in Washington state would increase cancer risks for some residents, make rail accidents more likely and add millions of metric tons of climate-changing greenhouse gas globally every year, according to an environmental study released Friday. Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview wants to build the facility along the Columbia River near the city of Longview to handle up to 44 million tons of coal a year. Coal would arrive by train from Montana, Wyoming and other states to be stored and loaded on ships heading to energy-hungry markets in Asia. The yearslong fight over the deep-water port comes as...
  • EPA head tells coal miners 'regulatory assault is over'

    04/13/2017 6:46:27 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 21 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Apr 13, 2017 6:37 PM EDT | Joe Mandak
    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told dozens of Pennsylvania coal miners Thursday that the “regulatory assault” on their industry is over, and that the environment can be protected without hurting business. “We’re going to do it the American way, grow jobs and show the rest of the world how it’s done,” Pruitt said before going on a mine tour about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh. “The regulatory assault is over,” he said, referring to tightened environmental and other regulatory standards on coal and other energy industries under former President Barack Obama. “We’re going to partner together with you.” Pruitt...
  • Trump signs bill undoing Obama coal mining rule

    02/16/2017 7:04:50 PM PST · by GonzoII · 16 replies
    The Hill ^ | 02/16/17 | Devin Henry
    President Trump on Thursday signed legislation ending a key Obama administration coal mining rule.   The bill quashes the Office of Surface Mining's Stream Protection Rule, a regulation to protect waterways from coal mining waste that officials finalized in December. The legislation is the second Trump has signed into law ending an Obama-era environmental regulation. On Tuesday, he signed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution undoing a financial disclosure requirement for energy companies. Both the mining and financial disclosure bills are the tip of a GOP push to undo a slate of regulations instituted in the closing days of the Obama administration. The...
  • Congressional Republicans move to dismantle Obama rules

    02/01/2017 8:28:49 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 1, 2017 6:56 PM EST | Matthew Daly and Kevin Freking
    Moving to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s legacy on the environment and other issues, House Republicans approved a measure Wednesday that scuttles a regulation aimed at preventing coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams. Lawmakers also voted to rescind a separate rule requiring companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments relating to mining and drilling. Republicans said the votes were first in a series of actions to reverse years of what they see as excessive government regulation during Obama’s presidency. Rules on fracking, guns and federal contracting also are in the cross-hairs as the GOP moves to...
  • GOP moves to undo Obama coal rules protecting streams

    01/30/2017 3:38:53 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 24 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jan 30, 2017 3:49 PM EST
    Congressional Republicans are moving swiftly to repeal Obama administration regulations aimed at better protecting streams from coal mining debris. Coal country opponents of the rules say they would kill jobs in the coal industry, which is reeling from competition from cleaner-burning natural gas. They unveiled legislation Monday to overturn December regulations through a process that permits Congress to revoke recently-issued rules in a manner that is immune to filibusters by Senate Democrats. …
  • In EPA rebuke, judge orders quick evaluation on coal jobs

    01/12/2017 9:08:16 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 18 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jan 12, 2017 6:31 PM EST | John Raby
    A judge has ordered federal regulators to quickly evaluate how many power plant and coal mining jobs are lost because of air pollution regulations. U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey in Wheeling made the ruling after reviewing a response from outgoing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. McCarthy had responded to the judge’s previous order in a lawsuit brought against her by Murray Energy Corp. that the EPA must start doing an analysis that it hadn’t done in decades. […] The judge said the EPA is required by law to analyze the economic impact on a continuing basis when...
  • Obama admin blocks seismic surveys in Atlantic Ocean [for natural gas drilling]

    01/06/2017 9:21:45 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 16 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jan 6, 2017 11:58 AM EST | Matthew Daly
    The Obama administration is denying permits for energy companies to conduct seismic surveys in the Atlantic Ocean to map potential drilling sites for oil and natural gas. The Interior Department said it denied six pending applications in part because Obama has blocked Atlantic drilling under a five-year offshore drilling plan finalized late last year. Environmental groups and some East Coast lawmakers oppose the surveys, saying that loud sounds from seismic air guns could hurt marine life. …
  • Obama admin sets rule to protect streams near coal mines

    12/19/2016 8:19:53 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 29 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Dec 19, 2016 10:24 AM EST | Matthew Daly
    The Obama administration has finalized rules designed to reduce the environmental impact of coal mining on the nation’s streams, a long-anticipated move that met quick resistance from Republicans who vowed to overturn it under President-elect Donald Trump. The Interior Department said Monday the rule will protect 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forests, preventing debris from coal mining from being dumped into nearby waters. …
  • EPA to require mines to offer cleanup assurances

    12/02/2016 5:40:18 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 23 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Dec 2, 2016 8:01 PM EST | Matthew Brown
    The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday said it plans to require mining companies to show they have the financial wherewithal to clean up their pollution so taxpayers aren’t stuck footing the bill. The proposal follows a 2016 agreement reached under court order for the government to enforce a long-ignored provision in the 1980 federal Superfund law. The requirement would apply to hardrock mining, which includes mines for precious metals, copper, iron, lead and other ores. It would cover mines and processing facilities in 38 states, requiring their owners to set aside sufficient money to pay for future clean ups. The...
  • Paris withdraws plans for carbon tax on coal

    10/24/2016 9:26:21 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    EurActiv ^ | Oct 24, 2016 | By Valéry Laramée de Tannenberg | Journal de l'environnement | Translated By Samuel White
    Pressure from the miners’ and energy workers’ union CGT forced the French government to back down on extending the carbon tax to coal-fired power stations. EurActiv’s partner Journal de l’Environnement reports.French governments have always struggled to tax emissions from coal. In 2009, François Fillon had to abandon the idea after his plans were struck down by the Constitutional Council. This time, the plan has been sunk by the country’s biggest union of miners and energy workers. On 25 April, President François Hollande announced the introduction of a minimum quota price for greenhouse gas emissions from combustion power stations. “This price...
  • Judge rules EPA must evaluate its impact on coal industry

    10/18/2016 3:28:17 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 18, 2016 5:12 PM EDT
    A federal judge in West Virginia has ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reverse decades of regulatory practice and begin continually evaluating how many power plants and coal mining jobs are lost because of air pollution regulations. […] Murray Energy Corporation brought this challenge years ago, joined by most of the companies mining coal underground. Thirteen states support the suit, which blames the EPA for the coal industry’s declining fortunes. …
  • Coal towns hit by layoffs to get job grants from US gov't

    08/24/2016 7:52:52 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 37 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Aug 24, 2016 5:26 PM EDT | John Raby
    Communities in nine U.S. states that have been hard-hit by coal layoffs are being promised more than 3,000 jobs in several industries through a multimillion-dollar federal grant. Officials for the Appalachian Regional Commission and other agencies announced the 29 projects totaling nearly $39 million Wednesday at a news conference in Huntington, West Virginia. The investments are expected to create or retain more than 3,400 jobs in agriculture, health care, manufacturing, technology and other industries. The projects are intended to help communities in Texas and in eight Appalachian states: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. …
  • Obama admin changing coal royalty program to boost revenue

    06/30/2016 9:06:27 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 17 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jun 30, 2016 11:43 AM EDT | Matthew Daly
    The Interior Department is changing the way it values coal mined from public lands in the West to make sure mining companies are not shortchanging taxpayers on sales to Asia and other markets. […] Under rules in place since the 1980s, companies can sell the fuel to affiliates and pay royalties to the government on that price, then turn around and sell the coal at higher prices, often overseas. …
  • Obama administration decries judge's fracking ruling

    06/22/2016 4:46:41 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 14 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jun 22, 2016 1:54 PM EDT | Matthew Daly
    The Obama administration on Wednesday decried a ruling by a federal judge that blocks rules for hydraulic fracturing, saying the decision prevents regulators from using “21st-century standards” to ensure that oil and gas operations are conducted safely on public lands. Jessica Kershaw, a spokeswoman for the Interior Department, said “modernized fracking requirements” imposed by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell reflect best industry practices and are aimed at ensuring adequate well control, preventing groundwater contamination and increasing transparency about the materials used in fracking. Kershaw’s comments came after a judge in Wyoming ruled late Tuesday that federal regulators lack authority to set...
  • Deal will close California's last nuclear plant by 2025

    06/21/2016 9:27:50 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 24 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jun 21, 2016 10:43 AM EDT
    California’s last nuclear power plant will close by 2025 under an accord announced Tuesday, ending three decades of safety debates that helped fuel the national anti-nuclear power movement. The state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., and environmental groups announced the agreement on the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, which sits along a Pacific Ocean bluff on California’s central coast. Environmentalists had pressed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for years to close Diablo, given its proximity to seismic faults in the earthquake-prone state. …
  • Bill Clinton takes on protesters in coal country

    05/14/2016 10:12:28 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 44 replies
    Washington Post ^ | May 13, 2016 at 4:18 PM | Karen Tumulty
    The booing was nearly as loud as the cheering when Bill Clinton stepped to the microphone in this remote mountain hamlet deep in the depressed heart of coal country. In the audience at the local elementary school Thursday night was a sizable contingent of coal miners and their families, many wearing helmets and T-shirts declaring their support for Donald Trump. […] The event here was Bill Clinton’s fourth in a long day of campaigning across Kentucky, where his wife faces a similar backlash in next week’s primary. …
  • Navajo Nation In Crisis As EPA Tries To Shutter The West’s Largest Coal Plant

    05/04/2016 9:23:42 AM PDT · by rktman · 49 replies
    dailycaller.com ^ | 5/4/2016 | Joseph Hammond
    The Navajo residents of Page, Ariz., have gotten to the point where they openly worry their modest rush hour may end altogether. The rush hour consists of only a few hundred cars carrying 520 people out to the Navajo Generating Station (NGS), heading down a windy road to the coal-fired power plant, which is dramatically positioned on a ridge a mile from the shores of Lake Powell, the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States. The Navajo coal plant’s lease is set to expire in 2019, pending complex negotiations aimed at extending operations until 2044. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)...
  • Obama says 'spirit of innovation' turns ideas into jobs

    04/25/2016 1:33:36 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 17 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Apr 25, 2016 4:31 AM EDT
    President Barack Obama it putting in a few good words for the “spirit of innovation” that he says turns ideas into jobs and growth. He commented Monday before setting out on a tour of the Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial technology trade show, taking place in Hannover, Germany. The U.S. is sponsoring this year’s show and Obama says it’s another chance to urge people to buy “Made in America.” …