Coal Gathering Opens With Dour Assessment, Political Vitriol

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Pittsburgh conference examining a possible resurgence of coal markets opened Monday with a dour view of the industry from one of its most controversial leaders.

“We have the absolute destruction of the American coal industry. If you think it’s coming back, you don’t understand the business. Or you’re smoking dope,” Robert E. Murray, CEO of Ohio-based Murray Energy, told several hundred industry executives gathered for the Platts 37th Coal Marketing Days.

Murray, whose company has filed four lawsuits against the Obama administration over proposed environmental rules, mixed market predictions with political vitriol, mostly aimed at the White House and climate change.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/6837696-74/coal-murray-industry#ixzz3E4M6Livu
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Advertisements

Coal Mine Closing To Slash 500 Jobs In Greene County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Greene County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Greene County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WAYNESBURG, PA — Among the rolling hills and in the small towns of rural Greene County, where coal long has been king, the news brought shock waves.

Emerald Mine near Waynesburg is closing.

Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources said Wednesday that about 500 workers will lose their jobs. A spokesman cited diminishing reserves, sluggish markets and restrictive federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

At least one businessman in the borough some 50 miles south of Pittsburgh believes he knows where to place the blame.

Read more: http://powersource.post-gazette.com/powersource/companies-powersource/2014/08/07/Actions-of-inexperienced-greenhat-led-to-fatal-well-explosion-DEP-says/stories/201408070178

After Decades, Dirty Indiana County Power Plant To Get Clean

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Indiana County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Indiana County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(AP) Three years ago, the operators of one of the nation’s dirtiest coal-fired power plants warned of “immediate and devastating” consequences from the Obama administration’s push to clean up pollution from coal.

Faced with cutting sulfur dioxide pollution blowing into downwind states by 80 percent in less than a year, lawyers for EME Homer City Generation L.P. sued the Environmental Protection Agency to block the rule, saying it would cause it grave harm and bring a painful spike in electricity bills.

None of those dire predictions came to pass.

Instead, the massive western Pennsylvania power plant is expected in a few years to turn from one of the worst polluters in the country to a model for how coal-fired power plants can slash pollution.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/appanews/531925697423954165349272/After-decades-dirty-power-plant-to-get-clean

Enhanced by Zemanta

Corbett: Coal Is Working

States and the energy industry should work together to improve carbon-capturing technology to save coal-burning power plants and coal-related jobs threatened by federal clean air regulations, Gov. Tom Corbett said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a coal industry conference at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Fayette County, the Shaler Republican joined a chorus of voices complaining that environmental regulations will push coal out as an electricity source.

“If you take one energy source out of the mix, you just know the cost of electricity will go up,” Corbett told about 100 people at the Nemacolin Energy Institute gathering.

He later announced he would work with Wyoming Gov. Matthew H. Mead and other coal-producing states on research and eventually build a joint testing center for affordable emission-control technology.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/5983934-74/coal-power-corbett#ixzz2zlWO7oig
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Enhanced by Zemanta

Consol Selling 5 Coal Mines, River Transport Business In $3.5B Deal

English: Consol Energy Center

English: Consol Energy Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the world’s oldest coal companies is selling off the business that gave Consol Energy Inc. its name, giving up five West Virginia mines and its river transport arm in an effort to transform into a growth-oriented gas business.

After weeks of speculation, Cecil-based Consol confirmed it is selling its Consolidation Coal Co. subsidiary to an Ohio mining competitor in a deal that includes $850 million in cash. The company will keep five mines to help supply overseas demand and use the capital it’s freeing up to reinvest in exploration and production of shale gas.

“We’ve kept the jewels for our shareholders,” CEO J. Brett Harvey said. “It’s important for you to understand that.”

Harvey said Consol retained an advantage over drilling competitors by retaining what it considers its best coal assets. The five mines it will hold, including its Pennsylvania operations, can supply both electric and metals makers, allowing it to sell at the best price and get more money to keep growing gas production by 30 percent annually, Consol executives said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/4960070-74/consol-coal-billion#ixzz2j27tk12V
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Many Weapons In ‘War On Coal’ Deployed Long Before Obama Took Office

The coal industry can be excused for thinking there’s a massive, organized, palm-rubbing effort to make its life difficult — the war on coal, in short.

It’s a “war” that’s been decades in the making, with few regulations actually originating with the Obama administration.  Yet the current swarm of actions also underscores the extent to which the White House can influence which rules get written, enforced or buried by delays and litigation.

“It’s not a war on coal for warring on coal’s sake,” said David Spence, associate professor of law, politics and regulation at the University of Texas.

Rather, it’s kind of a perfect storm of actions that have been simmering for a long time.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/many-weapons-in-war-on-coal-deployed-long-before-obama-took-office-698992/#ixzz2blfnoFXX

West Penn Power Parent To Close 2 Coal-Fired Plants In Western Pennsylvania

FirstEnergy Corp., the Ohio-based parent of West Penn Power, said it will shut down two coal-fired plants in Western Pennsylvania in the next three months.

The two facilities — Hatfield’s Ferry Power Station in Masontown and Mitchell Power Station in Courtney — represent more than 2 gigawatts of generating capacity, about 10 percent of the company’s total.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/west-penn-power-parent-to-close-2-coal-fired-plants-in-western-pennsylvania-694789/#ixzz2YZHM0Q6W

Titus Station Closing Moved Up To Sept. 1

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The closing date for Titus Station, the coal-powered electrical plant in Cumru Township, has been moved up to Sept. 1, David Gaier, spokesman for the East Region of NRG Energy Inc., Princeton, N.J., said Wednesday.

The plant’s previous owner, GenOn Energy Inc., announced in March 2012 that it would shutter the plant in 2015.

NRG Energy took over Titus Dec. 14 when it merged with GenOn Energy.

Gaier said the plant was initially going to be closed because of the millions of dollars it would cost to make the coal-powered plant comply with recent federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=477493

$2.3M Restoration Of Frick’s Lock Village Unveiled

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EAST COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, PA — In its heyday, Frick’s Lock Village was one of dozens of stops along the Schuylkill Navigation for coal making its way from the coal regions and the river’s headwaters to energy-starved industrial cities like Philadelphia.

But it lost its economic lustre when the railroads took over the job of carrying the coal and it slipped from public view entirely in 1969, when it was purchased by PECO as part of the construction of the Limerick nuclear plant.

But it never slipped entirely from memory, at least not for people like Bill Carl, who lived in the former locktender’s house in the late 1930s, when it had no electricity and no plumbing.

“We rented this from the Reading Railroad Co. for $5 a month,” he said.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130512/NEWS01/130519819/-2-3m-restoration-of-frick-s-lock-village-unveiled#full_story

PPL’s Brunner Island Coal-Fired Power Plant Here To Stay

All around the country, utilities are shuttering coal-fired power plants or converting them to natural gas, which has become a cheap, plentiful fuel.

But the hulking 51-year-old Brunner Island power plant perched along the Susquehanna River at Lancaster County‘s western boundary will continue to be a major power-producer for years to come, according to its owner, PPL.

“Brunner Island remains an important part of PPL’s future.  The company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in environmental improvements at the plant to keep it viable for the long term,” said George Lewis, PPL’s director of corporate communications.

Brunner Island produces enough power to drive 1 million homes.  But keeping it chugging along will buck a national trend and require even more investments in pollution equipment.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/715580_PPL-s-Brunner-Island-coal-fired-power-plant-here-to-stay.html#ixzz23okhy4D9

Underground Centralia Fire Still Burning After 50 Years

Higher resolution photograph of the Route 61 c...

Higher resolution photograph of the Route 61 crack, in Centralia PA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CENTRALIA, Pa.  – Fifty years ago on Sunday, a fire at the town dump ignited an exposed coal seam, setting off a chain of events that eventually led to the demolition of nearly every building in Centralia – a whole community of 1,400 simply gone.

All these decades later, the Centralia fire still burns in Columbia County. It also maintains its grip on the popular imagination, drawing visitors from around the world who gawk at twisted, buckled Route 61, at the sulfurous steam rising intermittently from ground that’s warm to the touch, at the empty, lonely streets where nature has reclaimed what coal-industry money once built.

It’s a macabre story that has long provided fodder for books, movies and plays – the latest one debuting in March at a theater in New York.

Yet to the handful of residents who still occupy Centralia, who keep their houses tidy and their lawns mowed, this borough in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania is no sideshow attraction. It’s home, and they’d like to keep it that way.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=389185

Titus Station’s Closing A Sign Of ‘Dash To Gas’

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Image via Wikipedia

The planned closure of five coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania, including the Titus Generating Station plant in Cumru Township, is a sign of a fundamental transformation in regional energy markets in which natural gas is sharing the leadership spotlight once occupied only by coal, according to top state observers.

“The economics are showing us, right now, a ‘dash-to-gas’ scenario,” said Robert F. Powelson, chairman of the state Public Utility Commission.

Patrick D. Henderson, state energy executive for Gov. Tom Corbett, said natural gas is playing a far greater role in supplying power to the regional grid than it did only a few years ago.

“We knew to anticipate coal-fired power-plant retirement in Pennsylvania,” Henderson said. “We did not know specifically those facilities were going to (close).”

Read more: http://businessweekly.readingeagle.com/?p=2603

Filmmaker Turns Lens On Pennsylvania Coal In Documentary

A shortage of anthracite coal may have landed Kelly Brown her first movie role.

Brown, assistant manager at coal seller F.M. Brown’s Sons Inc., 717 Lancaster Ave., went on camera last month when documentary filmmaker Alexis Manya Spraic came to town.

Spraic, whose credits include a 2010 Sundance Film Festival selection, is traveling the world to make a film on the future of global energy. Titled “POWER,” it is intended to portray the deeply personal nature of the world’s ultracomplex energy problem.

Read more: http://businessweekly.readingeagle.com/?p=2463

King Coal Makes Comeback As Fuel Supply

English: Coal breaker at an anthracite coal mi...

Image via Wikipedia

Global demand and renewed popularity for the low-cost fuel have combined to put a strain on Pennsylvania anthracite supplies with a rather surprising result. People in the coal region are having trouble finding fuel for their stoves and furnaces.

It also shows how coal, which over the past 60 years has faded from its position as a dominant home heating fuel to a small niche market, is making a comeback in the face of high oil costs. A ton of coal, which can cost about $180 in the coal region, provides the same amount of heat as 180 gallons of heating oil, which would cost $630.

That price difference has encouraged many Pennsylvanians to use coal for heat. About 1.4 percent of Pennsylvania households have coal as a primary heat source in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-allentown-coal-shortage-20111225,0,6042051.story

Very Cool Promotional Website Example

Highlighted Lancaster County map of Columbia.

Image via Wikipedia

 

Check this out!  It is a very well done website promoting the iron heritage of three communities on the Susquehanna River.   

I lived in Lancaster and never realized that Columbia, Marietta and Wrightsville were former iron producing centers.  Pottstown certainly has a long, rich heritage of iron and steel production going back to John Potts.  If we are looking for things to capitalize on to make Pottstown a “destination” like Bethlehem is for Musikfest this would certainly be something to promote, would it not?   

Click on the link below to view the website.  Under Features is the information on the iron furnaces but the site is a good example on how to capitalize on something!   

http://www.rivertownes.org/index.html