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View Diary: USA Closed for Overseas Coal Business (3 comments)

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  •  Only a ban on public financing of new coal plants (0+ / 0-)

    This will not put a dent in current coal production and sales - but it's a start.

    Coal industry, target of Obama rules, expands exports
    June 26, 2013

    The U.S. coal industry, under increasing pressure at home after President Obama's call Tuesday for tougher anti-pollution rules, is ratcheting up a more promising part of its business: exports.

    Coal exports set a monthly record in March, driven largely by rising demand from its top customer, China, and other Asian countries, according to the most recent data from the Energy information Administration. While domestic consumption has had recent dips, exports have steadily climbed — from 39.6 million short tons in 2002 to a record 125.7 million short tons last year.
    ...
    Popovich says Obama's new proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. coal-fired power plants will do little to help the climate, because increasing amounts of coal are being burned worldwide.

    •  It's a good start. (1+ / 0-)
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      Claudius Bombarnac

      The Ex-Im Bank is the continuation of postwar US policies of providing "aid" to struggling nations that consists primarily of payouts to private US industry -- corporate welfare thinly disguised as foreign aid.  It provides cheap finance for the purchase of American-made goods overseas.  Public US money is probably the last major source of finance for coal plants for the undeveloped world.  EUROPE certainly isn't going to finance them (no money AND environmental concerns), China isn't too keen on them, and private money has been avoiding investment in these fairly expensive, long-term projects that are on the way out in political and economic acceptability.  You don't want to loan money on something that will last a century and take thirty years to break even, when there's a significant possibility that climate change will lead to severe international sanctions being applied some time before it becomes profitable.  So if the World Bank under Kim follows suit, the only money available for building new coal plants is going to be VERRRRY EXPENSIVE.  And there again, who wants to build something that now is going to take FORTY years to pay off, when there's a good chance of having to shutter it before then due to controversy, protest, and The Severe Displeasure Of The Neighbors?  It's the same thing that effectively sunk nuclear in the US thirty years ago.

      Don't be so grim, Claudius.  I think that this is a very positive development. Every year that a given coal project is delayed is now an additive chance that it will never be built.

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