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View Diary: Winners of Whatcom County, Washington, council races could nix proposed coal-exporting terminal (60 comments)

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  •  Long-term contracts are slipping for coal... (13+ / 0-)

    ...and the quarterly reports you cite don't give the long-term picture that these graphs—from the same source—do:

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:53:06 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  "death spiral, and cannot find buyers" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonK
      Second quarter 2013 coal exports (29.4 million short tons) dropped 7.6% below first quarter 2013 coal exports (31.8 million short tons), however second quarter 2013 coal exports surpassed the five-year (2008-2012) second quarter average.

      The charts you show are for the U.S. ?
      Or are they world wide ?

      "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

      by indycam on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:04:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There for the U.S. And, yes, exports have grown... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        myboo, TX Scotia, Eric Nelson, aliasalias

        ...but the Chinese, who get a lot of our exported coal, are shifting from long-term to short-term contracts for delivery of coal. That's an omen.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:37:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of what ? (0+ / 0-)
          That's an omen.

          There for the U.S.
          Therefore its misleading . A death spiral isn't happening . A reduction in use in the U.S. doesn't matter if the coal is sold elsewhere . The coal industry isn't in a death spiral .  

          "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

          by indycam on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:49:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The person I quoted made clear what he... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            justintime, Mary Mike, DocGonzo

            ...meant: "Nationally, the coal industry is in a death spiral..."

            U.S. coal production is down 77,000 tons since its peak, 6.1%. Yes, internationally, that's not the case. But that's not the point he was making. China is cutting its coal imports from an estimated 240+ million tons in 2013 to 195 million tons in 2016 as part of its state-mandated  reduction in coal usage by 2017.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 11:19:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And he is mistaken (0+ / 0-)

              the coal industry is not in a death spiral and they are not having a hard time selling .

              http://www.americancoalonline.com/...

              However, early in 2013 coal is experiencing a resurgence in U.S. markets as natural gas prices climb back up from their 2012 lows.
              Natural gas and fuel-switching

              One of the key arguments made for decreasing American use of coal over the past few years has had natural gas prices as the primary premise. Natural gas as a factor for fuel switching was clearly the case when gas was in the sub-$2 range. However, in an October 2012 presentation at the BERC Energy Symposium at University of California, Berkeley, Andre Peterhans, manager of strategic planning for Chevron, explained that $2 gas has come and gone.

              “Two-dollar gas is really not sustainable when you look at what it takes to go and drill shale gas wells and further develop our industry – you’re not looking at $2 gas forever. It’s more likely to be $4 or above. That’s the message that the market is delivering.”1

              Speakers at the ACC’s 2013 Spring Coal Forum repeated Peterhans’ assessment, noting that gas prices are likely to fall between $4 and $6 well out into the future. With gas trading at almost $4 per 1 million British thermal units (mmBtu) in mid-March, those predictions were obviously accurate. When $4 gas is compared to eastern coal’s much more mild price of $2.40 per mmBtu, reports are now indicating that, at least in early to mid-2013, many utilities are shifting back toward coal.

              "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

              by indycam on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 01:13:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  More signs of coal's death spiral: (5+ / 0-)

            http://www.americanprogress.org/...

            “The window for thermal coal investment is closing,” Goldman Sachs downgraded its price forecasts for coal by 13 percent and 11 percent for 2014 and 2015, respectively, and said seaborne coal demand would peak in 2020. “Earning a return on incremental investment in thermal coal mining and infrastructure capacity is becoming increasingly difficult.”
            [China] will cease to import coal in 2015 and will see a decline in coal consumption in absolute terms in 2016 as hydro, nuclear, renewables and gas-fired generation take market share in the power sector. … We expect that China will start aggressively decommissioning coal-fired power stations and replacing them with nuclear or renewables by the second half of this decade.  “Asian Coal & Power: Less, Less, Less… The Beginning of the End of Coal.” Bernstein Research
            Another indicator of coal’s market weakness: A federal coal tract offered for sale in Wyoming in August failed to attract a single bid—the first time this has ever happened. Most of the rights to Powder River Basin coal are held by the federal government, which periodically sells leases for the minerals. That region accounts for about 40 percent of U.S. coal production.
            Originally, six coal export terminals were proposed for the Northwest.  Now only three proposals remain and those are threatened by strong opposition.
            •  Number 1 is talking about making money . (0+ / 0-)

              Number two is what they think will happen in the future .
              Number III is just funny logic .

              http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/...

              Tuesday, 15 October 2013
              China coal imports to keep growing in the years to come, albeit at a slower rate

              So despite the fact that King Coal might be facing some opposition, it seems that the Chinese will continue to be supportive of both imports and consumption of the commodity. And unless dramatic action is taken by their government, imports should keep increasing in the next years. This will almost certainly be an increase at a slower rate, but an increase nevertheless, as cheaper options of the commodity will be still made available through seaborne trade in the Asia-Pacific region, allowing for coal to keep burning hotter for a longer period than what some might chose to think...", Tzima concluded

              "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

              by indycam on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 01:24:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  ... (0+ / 0-)
              Goldman Sachs has been called everything from one of “the most hated companies in America” to “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”.

              But just when you thought Goldman’s public image couldn’t get any worse, the New York Times released a story yesterday saying the company is costing consumers billions of dollars in extra aluminum costs.

              "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

              by indycam on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 03:26:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  North America Coal Production totals (0+ / 0-)

      2000-2011 in Thousand Short Tons .

      1,162,355    
      1,217,748    
      1,179,703    
      1,150,847    
      1,195,741    
      1,215,384    
      1,248,169    
      1,236,890    
      1,259,089    
      1,155,928    
      1,170,351    
      1,181,967    

      "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

      by indycam on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:28:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  World wide coal production totals (0+ / 0-)

        2000-2011 in Thousand Short Tons .
        5,127,166    
        5,375,281    
        5,429,561    
        5,739,700    
        6,043,692    
        6,526,927    
        6,865,647    
        7,134,922    
        7,396,931    
        7,641,616    
        7,934,284

        "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

        by indycam on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 11:03:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  U.S. coal production fell 11.3% from 2007... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        justintime, Mary Mike, fb

        ...through 2012 (1,146,635 vs. 1,016,822 tons). We're on target for a drop of around 30,000 more tons this year, bringing the overall six-year change in production from 2007 to -13.8%.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 11:28:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Now tell me about worldwide . (0+ / 0-)

          1,016,822 tons = 2,033,644,000
          So only 2 billion pounds of coal ?

          If you want to say the coal companies in the U.S. are doing a little less well maybe ...

          http://www.americancoalonline.com/...

          Coal Surges Globally
          Despite a challenging domestic scene, American coal has proven popular in international markets

          By Jason Hayes, American Coal Council

          115432308
          Much is being made of sagging coal sales across U.S. markets. Media and environmental groups trumpet the “decline of coal” in article after article and an endless stream of media releases. However, early in 2013 coal is experiencing a resurgence in U.S. markets as natural gas prices climb back up from their 2012 lows. Coal is also seeing massive increases in demand around the rest of the planet. In fact, energy experts expect coal to match oil as the primary world energy resource before the end of this decade. Exact numbers are difficult to pick out, but there is no denying coal’s growing role in world energy.

          U.S. exports growing

          Despite last year’s decreased demand for coal in the U.S., worldwide demand for coal continues to spike upward. Last year was a banner year for U.S. coal exports, proving the statement of one speaker at the ACC’s 2012 Coal Leadership Advancement Seminar Session program, that “even if no one in the U.S. wants our coal, the rest of the world does.”

          As a result, U.S. coal producers exported 125 million tons in 2012, about double export levels of ten years ago.

          "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

          by indycam on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 12:58:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep. And our work will be cut out for us... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tardis10

            ...in stopping that growth and then reversing it. One way is to make coal-exporting terminals hard to get approved.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 03:02:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I think the charts you have shown (0+ / 0-)

      are misleading . The reality of coal production and use isn't shown .
      There isn't a death spiral going on .

      "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

      by indycam on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:43:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The graphs could be showing the slowdown (0+ / 0-)

      in the economy and could turn around as the economy gains ground.  I hope not as we have to stop burning fossil fuels and have better incentives for solar power!

    •  The problem with this graph... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fb, kkkkate

      Is that there is something motivating the billion dollar interests aside from the present demand for coal.  For one thing, they seem determined to sell coal, taken out of American ground, to China.  

      My worry as I watch this situation is that there are big players who are not seen, whose interests are not on the table, and who may nevertheless have the trump card.  

      I feel like a lot of people get excited by things like this county council election and other developments, but aren't enough concerned about the things any fan of crime novels ought to be - motive, means and opportunity.  

      I am on a board of a local Democratic Party group in the region and one of the things I observe is that local voters in the NW are not really prepared for the kind of chicanery that big time developers have been used to pulling in the Southwest.  They have learned over the past decades to be as nearly invisible as possible.  

      I think we should be worried about how this coal terminal will get pulled off right in front of everyone, despite all the disapproval.  

      hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

      by Stuart Heady on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 11:41:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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