“Clean Coal” is a Myth and the Coal Industry Knows It

by Duane Nichols on August 13, 2017

Clean Coal” Is A Political Myth, Says Coal Company Owner

From an Article by Steve Hanley, E & E News, July 25, 2017

Robert Murray is the CEO of Murray Energy, America’s largest privately owned coal-mining company. He has met privately with #FakePresident Donald Trump on several occasions to advise him on how to put coal miners back to work. He is one of the people who helped craft the message from serial prevaricator and all-around despicable human being Mitch McConnell and others in Washington that “clean coal” was the magic bullet that would reinvigorate the coal mining industry.

Based in part on the sweet nothings Murray was whispering in his ear, The Trumpster made “clean coal” a big part of his campaign message. His claims bamboozled unemployed miners with promises they would soon be back to work, once the evil Obama was evicted from the White House. The problem is, it was all a bold faced lie designed to pander to the most vulnerable workers in America.

Murray was in Washington recently to attend a meeting of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. Scott Pruitt, the alleged administrator of the EPA, was present to tell the group about his plan to counterattack climate scientists by hiring a bunch of charlatans supported by the Koch Brothers and other fossil fuel interests to say whatever they are paid to say, no matter the consequences.

How odd, then, that at a conference on clean coal, Murray told the press, “Carbon capture and sequestration does not work. It’s a pseudonym for ‘no coal.’ It is neither practical nor economic, carbon capture and sequestration. It is just cover for the politicians, both Republicans and Democrats that say, ‘Look what I did for coal,’ knowing all the time that it doesn’t help coal at all.” Talk about throwing the boss under the bus!

As if to underline the truth of his pronouncements, Southern Company announced shortly thereafter that it will stop throwing away billions of dollars a year on a carbon capture venture in Kemper County, Mississippi. It will not, however, refund the money that local utility customers had to pay to support the short sighted plan. Utility companies get their mistakes paid for by their customers.

In an article earlier this year about Murray and Elon Musk tangling on Twitter about climate change and coal emissions, Murray took time out of his busy day advising presidents and senators to send me an email saying he drives a lowly Ford Ranger, as if somehow that excuses him from raping and pillaging the land in search of a buck.

Oddly enough, he claims that climate change is just a money making scheme for people promoting solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects. Somehow, Murray and his ilk do not see the hypocrisy of complaining about renewable energy companies being profitable when they have fattened their own wallets for generations by pumping tons of pollutants into the environment.

>>> About the Author — Steve Hanley writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island.

QUOTE for TODAY — “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” Elie Wiesel

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Joe Romm August 24, 2017 at 9:59 pm

Back in the real world, clean coal remains a fantasy

From an Essay by Joe Romm, Think Progress, August 23, 2017

Trump thinks clean coal is when workers mine coal and then actually ‘clean it’

How off the rails was President Donald Trump’s rally speech in Phoenix Tuesday night? He spouted utter nonsense on clean coal, and it didn’t even make CNN’s story, “Donald Trump’s 57 most outrageous quotes from his Arizona speech.”

Trump appears to believe that clean coal — which, it must always be pointed out, doesn’t actually exist — is when workers mine coal and then physically “clean it.” That does not happen, but facts have never stopped Trump.

“We’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal, and it’s just been announced that a second, brand-new coal mine,” said Trump, “where they’re going to take out clean coal — meaning, they’re taking out coal. They’re going to clean it — is opening in the state of Pennsylvania, the second one.”

There are many misstatements or outright lies in those brief lines. First and foremost, “clean coal” is a fantasy. You can’t “clean it.” In terms of carbon pollution, coal is the dirtiest of fossil fuels, so you couldn’t clean coal unless you could remove or capture all the carbon and bury it.

The phrase “clean coal” refers to expensive and mostly non-commercial technologies that reduce pollution and capture carbon dioxide when coal is burned. Even Robert Murray, CEO of the country’s largest privately held coal-mining company, doesn’t believe in that. “Carbon capture and sequestration does not work,” he said last month. “It is neither practical nor economic.”

Coal CEO admits that ‘clean coal’ is a myth

Second, there never was a “war on coal.” Indeed, as we reported last month, a leaked draft of the Department of Energy’s electric grid study concluded that factors like environmental regulations and renewable energy subsidies “played minor roles” in the shutdown of big coal plants.

Instead, coal has simply become uneconomic. “[Coal] plants that have retired are old and inefficient units that were not recovering their operations and fuel costs, much less capital cost recovery,” the draft report says.

Finally, Trump’s “second, brand-new coal mine” in Pennsylvania is actually a renovation and reopening project for a metallurgical coal mine. The increase in the metallurgical coal market is largely being driven by China’s steel industry, not by any policies from Trump, as the Washington Post fact checker explained in June. The mine project will create, at most, dozens of jobs.

Trump’s trade rhetoric was key to his campaign. Now it’s totally incoherent.

The Post gave Trump three Pinocchio’s for lying about the first coal plant back in June. These new statements deserves a lot more.

Source: https://thinkprogress.org/trump-thinks-clean-coal-is-when-workers-mine-coal-and-then-actually-clean-it-b56a2d4317bc/?utm_campaign=crowdfire&utm_content=crowdfire&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter#350509998-tw


Associated Press August 27, 2017 at 1:04 pm

Coal miner who died in West Virginia had survived Sago blast

News & Observer, Associated Press, August 26, 2017

MILL CREEK, W.Va.– A coal miner who died on the job in West Virginia was the brother of one the 12 killed in the Sago Mine disaster of 2006.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that authorities identified the miner found dead Friday as Owen Mark Jones, a fire boss at the Pleasant Hill Mine. The surface mine is located near Mill Creek, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Charleston.

Jones’ brother, Jesse, was among those killed when an explosion ripped through the Sago Mine, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Mill Creek. The brothers had worked together at the same mines for 17 years.

On the day of the 2006 explosion, Owen Jones headed a second crew that followed his brother’s group into the Sago Mine. His crew was about 10 minutes behind the others because they needed to switch to a larger vehicle, and they made it back out.

Jones was among the men who tried to reach the 13 trapped miners, only one of whom survived. “It was like watching your brother falling off a cliff and not being able to do anything about it,” he said at the time.

Jones later returned to work at Sago, but ultimately asked for a transfer. “Every single noise, you jump,” he said. “You’re on edge all of the time.”

Jones, whose great-grandfather also died in a mine explosion, said at the time that the pay was the main reason he returned to coal mining despite the dangers.

“My wife and kids don’t want me to ever go back, but what are you supposed to do? You either work in the woods around here or in the coal mines or you work for Hardee’s or McDonald’s or something like that, and then you don’t make enough money to live,” he said.

Jones, 51, is survived his wife, two children and five grandchildren. Gov. Jim Justice’s office called the death “especially heartbreaking” because “this family has been devastated twice in the last 11 years by losing loved ones in the mines.”

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration confirmed the fatality Friday at the Carter Roag Coal Co. mine. No other information about the circumstances of Jones’ death was immediately released. Carter Roag is owned by Metinvest, a mining and metals firm headquartered in Ukraine.

The federal agency said it’s the sixth coal mining death in West Virginia this year, up from three killed on the job last year. Twelve coal miners have been killed nationwide so far this year, up from eight in 2016.

Source: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article169547547.html


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