Archive for May, 2015

More News and Commentary

Investors Flap Their Wings, Coal Industry Shudders

Power-Plant Skepticism in India; Regulatory Darkness in Alabama; Kemper on the Hot Seat; a Mickey Mouse Solar Park

The “butterfly effect” comes to mind on seeing what coal-industry executives must have perceived as an unnerving headline yesterday in Business Insider Australia, “A Chill Wind From Norway.”  The article, by Greg McKenna, follows up on news out of Oslo on Wednesday that Norwegian lawmakers have agreed to require the country’s gargantuan pension fund to […]

May 29, 2015 Read More →

Mines Are for Sale, ‘Buyers Are Scarce’

Scott Patterson and John W. Miller in today’s WSJ: Miners across the world want to sell off their mines, but they have a problem: Almost no one wants to buy them. Some veteran bankers in the mining industry say they are seeing the longest drought of deals in their careers. The rut is caused by […]

May 29, 2015 Read More →

Coal-Fired Indiana Plant Will Switch to Gas After 80 Years

From John Russell in the Indianapolis Star The move represents a major victory for anti-coal activists, who call the plant a major polluter and health hazard. And it’s a setback for Indiana’s coal industry, which prides itself as a supplier of cheap, abundant fuel. For decades, Indiana outpaced the nation in relying on coal. The […]

May 29, 2015 Read More →

Sharp Downturn Seen in West Virginia Coal Production

From SNL’s Taylor Kuykendall, citing a study by West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research: The report notes that after reaching nearly 158 million tons in 2008, West Virginia’s coal mine output has tumbled in each successive year to an annual total of approximately 115 million tons in 2014. The report’s baseline projection […]

May 29, 2015 Read More →

‘Coal Facing Worst Year Yet in 2015’

From Nick Cunningham, of Oilprice.com, on Yahoo Finance: China may have already hit a peak in its coal consumption, which would be a shocking development considering the country was aiming to hit its peak no later than 2020. With the world’s largest coal consumers trying to rid themselves of the dirty fuel, it appears that […]

May 29, 2015 Read More →

Solar Megaprojects in Chile, Morocco, and South Africa

Via Sophie Vorath on RenewEconomy.com: 2015 is shaping up to be a big year for the development of huge, hybrid solar power plants – the mega solar complexes that combine solar PV with solar towers and storage, and which are tipped to compete, soon, with baseload fossil fuels on both price and energy supply. In […]

May 29, 2015 Read More →

Norway Makes a Move With Its Divestiture Vote

From David Crouch and Pilita Clark in the Financial Times: Norway’s colossal oil fund will consider pulling billions of dollars of investments out of coal in a move that threatens European utilities using the fossil fuel to generate power. Members of the finance committee of Norway’s parliament confirmed on Wednesday night that opposition and governing […]

May 28, 2015 Read More →

Politico: U.S. Energy Markets Are Changing ‘Faster Than You Think’

Politico has an epic piece up this week on how the beleaguered U.S. coal industry is struggling to maintain its place in the new energy economy. From the article, by Michael Grunwald: Coal still helps keep our lights on, generating nearly 40 percent of U.S. power. But it generated more than 50 percent just over […]

May 28, 2015 Read More →

‘ExxonMobil CEO Mocks Renewable Energy’

From Politico’s Adam B. Lerner: The CEO of one of the world’s largest oil companies downplayed the effects of climate change at his company’s annual meeting Wednesday, telling shareholders his firm hadn’t invested in renewable energy because “We choose not to lose money on purpose.” “Mankind has this enormous capacity to deal with adversity,” ExxonMobil […]

May 28, 2015 Read More →

Steyer Wants GOP Candidates ‘On the Record’ on Climate and Energy

Via Timothy Cama in TheHill.com: Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer said he does not support any of the Republican candidates for president but that it’s still important to get involved in the primary campaign. Steyer told Gwen Ifill of PBS “NewsHour” that he would be thrilled if a Republican candidate ended up being stronger than […]

May 28, 2015 Read More →