New York Times: Coal Industry Casts Itself as a Clean Energy Player
Executives of the three companies — Cloud Peak Energy, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal — are going so far as to make common cause with some of their harshest critics, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Clean Air Task Force. Together, they are lobbying for a tax bill to expand government subsidies to reduce the environmental impact of coal burning.
The technology they are promoting is carbon capture and sequestration — an expensive and, up to now, unwieldy method of trapping carbon dioxide emitted from coal-fired power plants before the gas can blanket the atmosphere and warm the planet.
“We can’t turn back time,” said Richard Reavey, vice president for government and public affairs at Cloud Peak Energy. “We have to accept that there are reasonable concerns about carbon dioxide and climate, and something has to be done about it. It’s a political reality, it’s a social reality, and it has to be dealt with.”
Reuters: Big Corn Courts Old Foe Big Oil to Combat Electric Car Threat
A U.S. biofuels lobbying group on Tuesday said it is seeking to work with longtime rival the oil industry to fight the threat to both from subsidies for electric vehicles.
The two industries have been at loggerheads for years as they seek sway with Washington over how much biofuel should be included in gasoline and diesel.
But that enmity is thawing as the growing number of electric cars on the road threatens to cut demand for both renewable and conventional fuels.
Guardian: High Energy Bills Here to Stay but Jobs Heading Overseas, Industry Group Warns
The “staggering” increase in energy costs faced by households and businesses will continue thanks to rising gas prices, putting jobs in jeopardy, according to the Australian Industry Group.
Warning that last year’s steep price rises are set to become “the new normal”, the Ai Group says in a report on Tuesday that the complexities of the gas market have combined with a decline in coal-fired power generation to produce a perfect storm for consumers.
Wholesale electricity prices are roughly doubling, the report said, and once fully passed through, gas and electricity prices will cost households an extra $3.6bn a year and businesses up to $8.7bn.
Associated Press: China’s Coal Consumption Falls for 3rd Year in a Row
China’s consumption of coal fell in 2016 for a third year in a row, official data showed Tuesday, as the world’s top carbon polluter has emerged as a global leader in addressing global warming.
The National Bureau of Statistics said the consumption of coal, a major source of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions, fell by 4.7 percent last year, according to preliminary calculations.
The bureau said the share of coal in China’s total energy consumption mix fell to 62 percent in 2016 from 64 percent the year before. A revised figure in the China Energy Statistical Yearbook put the 2015 figure at 63.7 percent, but Tuesday’s report referenced the preliminary figures reported last year.
The Hill: Trump to Propose 24 Percent Cut in EPA Spending
The Trump administration plans to propose a one-forth cut to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget, a plan that would end up laying off 20 percent of the agency’s staffers, according to reports.
Trump officials will propose a $6.1 billion for the EPA next year, a $2 billion cut from current levels, according to reports in E&E News and Politico, citing sources.
The agency’s staffing levels would fall to 12,000 workers, from 15,000 currently, according to the reports.
This article was originally featured on greentechmedia.com.