Coal

First New Coal Mine of Trump Era Opens in Pennsylvania

President Trump lauded the opening of the nation’s first new coal mine in recent memory. Corsa Coal Company will operate the mine in Somerset County, Pa. – outside of Pittsburgh. Corsa CEO George Dethlefsen said the mine will be a boon to the struggling local economy. He praised Trump’s easing of regulations and encouragement for fossil fuel exploration. Dethlefsen told Leland Vittert that for the 70 positions available in the mine, 400 people applied. “It’s a hard day’s work every day, but it’s worth it,” one miner said. Vittert said the news contrasts with Hillary Clinton’s message that she would “put a lot of coal miners out of work.” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who endorsed Clinton, joined the mine company in watching a video message from Trump commemorating the occasion. R.J. Harris, a longtime host on Harrisburg’s 580-WHP, said the mine opening is a “shot in the arm” for the Keystone economy. Pennsylvania was once home to the world’s largest coal breaker, the St. Nicholas Breaker in Mahanoy City. In its heyday, the breaker could process 12,000 tons of anthracite coal each day, according to the Allentown Morning Call. Demolition began on the Schuylkill County behemoth in 2015 – a sign of the times in the coal region. Though, Harris said he is optimistic that Corsa’s mine opening is evidence that Trump can help turn the region’s economy around. The mine will reportedly be producing metallurgical or bituminous coal – which is used in steel-making – while anthracite is the type often used in energy production.

Great news for Somerset County, PA!!  Another one of Trump’s promises kept.  Excellent!!   🙂

‘The War on Coal Is Over’: Donald Trump Signs Energy Executive Order

President Donald Trump made a dramatic display of executive power at the Environmental Protection Agency, as he signed an executive order to begin ratcheting back the Obama-era EPA regulations. “My administration is putting an end to the war on coal,” Trump said in a speech prior to signing the executive order. Trump was joined by Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Our nation can’t run on pixie dust and hope,” Zinke said during his speech. “The last eight years showed that.” Vice President Mike Pence was also present for the event. “President Trump digs coal,” Pence said as he introduced Trump. “The war on coal is over.” Several coal miners were also present at the event, and at one point Trump left the podium in the middle of his speech to shake all of their hands. “We’re with you 100%,” he said, recalling his campaign promise to put them back to work. Trump said that his executive order was focused on giving power back to the states and back to the people to restore American energy jobs. “We’re going to have safety, we’re going to have clean water, we’re going to have clean air, but so many are unnecessary and so many are job killing, we’re getting rid of the bad ones,” he said. Despite his focus on coal miners, Trump also praised EPA employees. “You’re doing important work to protect our health and public resources, so important,” he said. Trump also recognized Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (D-VA), who joined the event. After signing the executive order, Trump reached back with one of the signature pens and gave it to the miners.

Excellent news!!!    🙂

Coal mining begins seeing revival as Trump gives industry hope

Wise County, Virginia – A long-awaited revival is under way in this beleaguered Central Appalachia community where residents see coal as the once and future king. Trucks are running again. Miners working seven days a week cannot keep up with current demand. Coal mines, long dormant after the industry’s collapse, are now buzzing again with antlike activity. “We load coal every day for the power plant in Virginia City,” explained Rick, a long-time supervisor for a major local operation who did not want to give his last name. “There’s one shipment a week for Georgia Power, and one for Tennessee Eastman.” The past month has seen a resurgence of the coal industry that once formed the backbone of the region’s economy, and locals credit President Trump’s aggressive, pro-energy agenda. Crippled by a slew of factors, from changing times, an emphasis on renewable energy, and the Obama administration’s harsh penalties on coal-fired power plants, the area’s economy took a devastating hit over the past eight years. Many of the people living in these mountains had nearly given up hope that the area could ever recover. The smaller communities in this county in southwest Virginia, such as the towns of Appalachia, Pound and St. Paul, were the hardest hit, but the ripple effects were felt far and wide. Prospects changed nearly overnight. President Trump had promised to do everything he could to lift the coal mining industry. Trump began to make good on his pledge last month when he eliminated the Stream Protection Rule, which had placed layers of regulations on the industry. Although it will take a while before the coal industry recovers, the metallurgical or “met coal” markets – coal used to make steel – are already seeing a major upswing. The price for met coal is twice as high as it was a year ago, which is causing a boom in the coalfields. The turnaround owes to more than just Trump. China cut its own production, which helps lift the met industry in the United States. But, many in this area say, Trump’s moves to lift regulations are stoking a rally they have not seen in years. Ramasco Resources began producing its first coal mine in December and said it would open two more this year. In Pennsylvania, Corsa Coal also announced this month that it would begin mining operations beginning in May, according to Bloomberg. “There’s definitely cautious optimism after years of being brutally beaten down,” Jeremy Sussman, an analyst at Clarksons Platou Securities Inc., told Bloomberg. The production of coal reached its peak in 2008. But then President Obama came into office and rolled out a series of regulations that he said were designed to protect America’s streams and waterways from the pollution the mining emitted. Those regulations crippled the industry and left many in the region out of well-paying jobs. For those whose livelihood depended on the industry, the most important thing that Trump has given them is hope. “It was almost impossible due to the EPA regulations to open another deep mine,” said Rick. Just a few decades ago, when unions were strong in Wise County, the area leaned Democrat. But once the economy bottomed out and many were left without jobs, this corner of Virginia found itself feeling left behind. Nowadays, many homes in Wise County are adorned with Trump signs. This now-Republican stronghold is betting on a better future under the Trump administration. “It’s a slow thing,” said Adam, a mining equipment operator in the area who also did not want to give his last name. “It’s not going to be immediate, but there’s definitely some optimism right now.” It’s too early to tell whether or not coal will be king again. But with the stranglehold of regulations now on its way out, many in the area say they hope to see a full comeback.Wise County, Virginia – A long-awaited revival is under way in this beleaguered Central Appalachia community where residents see coal as the once and future king. Trucks are running again. Miners working seven days a week cannot keep up with current demand. Coal mines, long dormant after the industry’s collapse, are now buzzing again with antlike activity. “We load coal every day for the power plant in Virginia City,” explained Rick, a long-time supervisor for a major local operation who did not want to give his last name. “There’s one shipment a week for Georgia Power, and one for Tennessee Eastman.” The past month has seen a resurgence of the coal industry that once formed the backbone of the region’s economy, and locals credit President Trump’s aggressive, pro-energy agenda. Crippled by a slew of factors, from changing times, an emphasis on renewable energy, and the Obama administration’s harsh penalties on coal-fired power plants, the area’s economy took a devastating hit over the past eight years. Many of the people living in these mountains had nearly given up hope that the area could ever recover. The smaller communities in this county in southwest Virginia, such as the towns of Appalachia, Pound and St. Paul, were the hardest hit, but the ripple effects were felt far and wide. Prospects changed nearly overnight. President Trump had promised to do everything he could to lift the coal mining industry. Trump began to make good on his pledge last month when he eliminated the Stream Protection Rule, which had placed layers of regulations on the industry. Although it will take a while before the coal industry recovers, the metallurgical or “met coal” markets – coal used to make steel – are already seeing a major upswing. The price for met coal is twice as high as it was a year ago, which is causing a boom in the coalfields. The turnaround owes to more than just Trump. China cut its own production, which helps lift the met industry in the United States. But, many in this area say, Trump’s moves to lift regulations are stoking a rally they have not seen in years. Ramasco Resources began producing its first coal mine in December and said it would open two more this year. In Pennsylvania, Corsa Coal also announced this month that it would begin mining operations beginning in May, according to Bloomberg. “There’s definitely cautious optimism after years of being brutally beaten down,” Jeremy Sussman, an analyst at Clarksons Platou Securities Inc., told Bloomberg. The production of coal reached its peak in 2008. But then President Obama came into office and rolled out a series of regulations that he said were designed to protect America’s streams and waterways from the pollution the mining emitted. Those regulations crippled the industry and left many in the region out of well-paying jobs. For those whose livelihood depended on the industry, the most important thing that Trump has given them is hope. “It was almost impossible due to the EPA regulations to open another deep mine,” said Rick. Just a few decades ago, when unions were strong in Wise County, the area leaned Democrat. But once the economy bottomed out and many were left without jobs, this corner of Virginia found itself feeling left behind. Nowadays, many homes in Wise County are adorned with Trump signs. This now-Republican stronghold is betting on a better future under the Trump administration. “It’s a slow thing,” said Adam, a mining equipment operator in the area who also did not want to give his last name. “It’s not going to be immediate, but there’s definitely some optimism right now.” It’s too early to tell whether or not coal will be king again. But with the stranglehold of regulations now on its way out, many in the area say they hope to see a full comeback.

Let’s hope so!  And, THIS is why Trump won so many of the formerly “blue” Dem states.  Those states felt “left behind” as this article rightly notes.  For the last 8+ years, the Democrat party has been focusing on identity politics and going after minority special interest groups, and leaving blue-collar white voters (their former primary constituency) behind.  Trump seized on that and turned the political landscape upside down.  Those former Dem voters saw a party more interested in focusing on what bathrooms people should use, and pandering to illegal aliens, instead of focusing on the economy and jobs for actual American citizens.  And THAT is a major reason why Trump won.  The fact that Hillary was a corrupt, and horrible candidate was also part of it.  And yet, the Dems aren’t willing to take an honest look in the mirror and come to terms with those fact.  Instead, they’re ginning up the whole Russian involvement nonsense, and their willing accomplices in the dominantly liberal mainstream media continue to follow that story….which will go nowhere.

With collapse of coal industry, central Appalachian towns struggle to survive

On any given Friday morning, Tom Watko arrives at the food pantry in Whitesburg, Kentucky, to pack boxes of canned vegetables and frozen chicken legs for the residents already waiting in line outside the door. The Letcher County Food Pantry, a non-profit that was established with money from a legal settlement after a mining disaster 40 years ago, is one of the few places in the central Appalachian county attracting customers. Whitesburg has become the poster child for the war on coal. “Coal was our golden egg and it just no longer exists and people are struggling to make ends meet,” said James Craft, Whitesburg’s mayor for the past 10 years. “The impact has been absolutely devastating, with no discernible method of income for most of the people,” Craft told FoxNews.com. “We desperately need some infusion from the federal government.” Of the 24,000 people who live in Letcher County, only 100 still work in coal-related jobs, according to county officials. Nearly 30 years ago, there were more than 1,700. Coal jobs in Kentucky and West Virginia have been on the decline for decades — long before President Obama took office. According to data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the two states together have lost 38,000 coal jobs since 1983. But job losses in recent years have been especially staggering, the result of tighter regulatory policies and cheaper power plant fuels, like natural gas. In Letcher County, the unemployment rate stands at 13.4 percent — the fifth-highest county in the state. The highest unemployment rate is in Magoffin County, at 21.6 percent, followed by Leslie County, with 13.7 percent. The unemployment rate statewide is 5.8 percent, making Kentucky tied for the sixth highest jobless rate in the country. One year ago, Kentucky’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, and has risen over the past six months. It is currently one of 16 states with a jobless rate above the national average. While unemployment in some Kentucky counties is staggering, local law enforcement officials say the crime rate hasn’t significantly increased, in part, because many of the jobless are leaving. “Our population is dropping and people are going to other places to get jobs,” Letcher County Sheriff Danny Webb told FoxNews.com. Mayor Craft said Whitesburg — a small city with a population of about 2,140 — is trying to redefine itself with tourism. “We’re making us a destination,” Craft said, noting the Appalshop, a multi-disciplinary arts and education center founded in 1969 that produces original films, theater and music, as well as the opening of the “only moonshine distillery east of Lexington.” Craft also expressed optimism over a 1,200-inmate maximum security prison he said the federal govermnent plans to build in Letcher County — ironically, on a former mining site. Construction on the $444 million project is expected to begin in two years, and is expected to create 300 full-time jobs — along with new much-needed revenue streams. At the Letcher County Food Pantry, meanwhile, a steady stream of people file into the small, white, four-room home every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to pick up the food basics that many can’t afford to buy. “We try to give them nutritional stuff,” said Tom Watko, a 71-year-old retired safety officer who works with 15 other volunteers to provide meals for more than 1,000 people a month. The food pantry was opened in 1982, with money from a legal settlement after the Scotia mine disaster of 1976 — one of the worst in the state’s history. The pantry operates entirely on private donations, including contributions from corporate giants like Walmart. “We’ve seen as many as 80 people in one day,” Watko said, as he detailed the food box contents for the day: canned vegetables, cereal, spaghetti and marinara sauce and drinks. “People here were once making very good money — anywhere from 24 to 25 [dollars] an hour — down to basically nothing,” he said. “These families are really hurting.”

I’m sure…  While the coal industry HAS been on the decline, Obama has made it a mission to put that industry, and all who work in it, out of business.  So, these poor folks can thank Obama and his fascist anti-energy policies for their ruin.  Awful..

Mining moratorium a blow to Wyoming’s coal industry

The Obama administration’s announcement of a temporary freeze on new coal mining on federal land blew through the Powder River Basin like Wyoming’s bitter winter wind. The Friday announcement was hardly unexpected, given the administration’s so called “war on coal.” But with beleaguered big coal poised to dig some of the biggest known deposits in America’s top-producing state, hopes ran high – until they were dashed. “The administration has chosen to pander to special interest groups and do their bidding,” Colin Marshall, president and CEO of Cloud Peak Energy, told FoxNews.com after the announcement. The move was seen as just the latest in a line of anti-coal initiatives that have contributed to the crippling of the industry, which has also been hurt by falling oil and natural gas prices. Nowhere will the moratorium have a bigger effect than in the Powder River Basin. Mining companies have long paid huge fees for the right to operate on federal lands, and Cloud Peak and other companies were relishing the opportunity to work two mine sites in the region. The Powder River Basin is a geological treasure trove, with a trillion tons of coal running through the earth in 100-foot high ribbons. Federal authorities, including officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, had been considering whether to allow new leases for more than a year, and last summer held “listening sessions” in the area. Now, Marshall wonders if the feds bothered to hear about a ban’s impact on workers, families and the local and state economies. “We are disappointed that after a robust set of ‘listening sessions’ on the coal leasing program last summer in which thousands of people across the West, from working class Americans to governors, very clearly explained how important the coal leasing program is to their well-being,” Marshall said. Roughly 40 percent of the coal produced in the United States comes from federal lands. The vast majority of that mining on government land takes place in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. In total, Wyoming produces more than three times as much as the next-closest coal producing state, West Virginia. It’s unclear what impact the moratorium will have on many coal companies given the declining domestic demand, coupled with the closure of numerous coal-fired power plants around the country. Mining companies have already stockpiled billions of tons of coal on existing leases—including Cloud Peak Energy. “We urge Western lawmakers at the state and Congressional level to ensure a timely and legitimate review process by the Department of the Interior,” Marshall said. “[But] We do not believe this announcement will have any immediate impact on our operations, and we have strong reserves, including the Youngs Creek and Big Metal projects which are not impacted by today’s announcement, to continue serving our customers.” In a conference call on Friday, Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said that the recent decision “is not a pause on coal production” but rather a means for the government to have more time to study the benefits of coal and its impact on the environment. Jewell also said that the pause on new leases should not affect the country’s ability to meet production goals. Some in the industry near the Powder River Basin say otherwise. “This is not about finding a solution that’s best for everybody,” Travis Deti, assistant director for the Wyoming Mining Association, told FoxNews.com. “That’s just lip service. This is just another attempt to keep coal in the ground.” It was during the public hearings last year that the administration also set out to get feedback on the adequacy of the fees charged companies for coal mined on federal lands. The government collects a 12.5-percent royalty on the sale price of strip-mined coal. The rate was established in 1976. The money is then split between the federal government and the state where the coal was mined. Coal companies also pay a $3 fee annually for each acre of land leased. Government auditors have in the past questioned whether the rate provided an appropriate return to taxpayers. But coal companies say their profit margins are slim compared to what they fork over to the government. “Cloud Peak Energy paid $354 million in taxes and royalties to federal, state and local governments in 2014,” Marshall said. “For the same year, we paid an additional $69 million for leases for future production. For the same year, our profit was $79 million.” Deti said the government is not really looking out for taxpayers so much as it is dealing a death blow to an industry that means everything in places like the Powder River Basin. “There’s no sugar coating it,” Deti said. “This is just another attempt to put another nail in the coffin of the industry.”

Obama halts coal production on public land

The Obama administration announced a moratorium on new coal development on public land Friday while it studies the impact of the U.S. leasing program on climate change, prompting fresh criticism that President Obama is ramping up his “war on coal.” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the initiative. “Given serious concerns raised about the federal coal program, we’re taking the prudent step to hit pause on approving significant new leases,” said Ms. Jewell, who added that existing coal leases would continue to provide for the country’s electricity needs. “We haven’t undertaken a comprehensive review of the program in more than 30 years,” she said, “and we have an obligation to current and future generations to ensure the federal coal program delivers a fair return to American taxpayers and takes into account its impacts on climate change.” It’s the latest step by Mr. Obama to combat climate change and follows a pledge he made in Tuesday’s State of the Union address “to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet.” Speaker Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said the impact of the move “will be terrible: lost growth, lost jobs, and lost revenue that would have gone to schools, bridges, and roads.” “The president’s policies have already ravaged coal country, destroying jobs and people’s way of life, and this will increase that suffering,” Mr. Ryan said. “Congress will continue to fight back against the president’s ruthless pursuit of destroying people’s low-cost energy sources in order to cement his own climate legacy.” Karen Harbert, a top official with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, blasted the administration’s “foolish crusade” against coal. “Another day, another front on the war on coal from this administration,” she said. “At this point, it is obvious that the president and his administration won’t be satisfied until coal is completely eradicated from our energy mix. If the president wants electricity rates to skyrocket — as he once said he did — he’s on the right path.”

No kidding!  Obama has had it out for the clean coal industry in states like Kentucky and West Virginia since day one of his presidency.  His war on coal is just a war on jobs for Americans, and its the little guy that’s getting hurt the most.  The wealthy can afford higher energy bills.  Lower income folks can’t afford for the electric bills to double…which ultimately will happen.  Thanks for nothing, Obama!  Tool..

GAO: More coal power plants to close than expected

More coal-fired power plants will close because of environmental regulations and competition from other energy sources than previously thought, according to federal watchdogs.

This is NOT good news. But, its also not surprising. As far back as the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama was up front about his desire to put the entire clean coal industry out of business altogether. He essentially told voters in West Virginia to start looking for another job. And, yet he still won…twice!

Also, as we’ve mentioned on several occasions here at The Daily Buzz, the #1 priority of Obama and his administration, above ALL else, is green green green. Economy? Unemployment? Jobs? Energy? A jailed U.S. Marine in Mexico? Forget it. Obama couldn’t care less about those issues. He’d rather waste millions and millions on failed green companies like Solyndra. I think the only thing Obama likes more than green, is securing his times on the green (golf course). The balanced approach to energy here in America would be “option D; all of the above.” Personally, I’m all for green energy, solar, etc. But, its not economically viable at this point, and I think we’ve wasted enough billions of hard-earned tax-payer dollars on green energy sources; most of it a total waste. If the PRIVATE sector (i.e. Tesla, without the government funding, etc.) wants to come up with green solutions, that’s fine. And, that’s where the real solutions will ultimately come from. Meanwhile, we should be encouraging clean coal, nuclear, fracking in states like CO and the SD, and of course, domestic drilling for oil both on and off shore. Its time to get this country’s economy back on track..and the way to do that is energy independence.