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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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  •  The person I quoted made clear what he... (3+ / 0-)
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    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 .

      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 ]

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