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View Diary: More Coal Woes: Always a Fun Diary to Write (42 comments)

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  •  Globally YES.. very much so. (7+ / 0-)

    Unless we can raise transit costs.

    But Domestically?  That is simply factually not true.  Utilities aren't even requesting permits for new coal at this point in the US.  We used to have 523 coal plants in the US, we now have 360 with an acceleration in shutdowns  by 2016.

    Companies are divesting (Oxbow, Berkshire Hathaway, Wildhorse Energy).  Major US producers are going bankrupt (See Patriot Coal or James River).  The US Government had two auctions for new coal leases on public land that didn't even receive a SINGLE BID.

    The international policy to stop developing countries from borrowing to invest in coal will help the stem the downstream, but the big question will be China.

    It would be one thing if they were like "Fuck off.. we're going all in on Coal!" but they really aren't.  It is purely internal forces and decisions, not some external climate campaign that they could give a shit about, that is prompting them to put BILLIONS into being less dependent on coal.

    The main fight we're all focused on is the domestic US Coal industry.  People need to stop trying to counter the undeniable progress we are making by conflating it with things in other countries.

    What would be the better reaction?  Oh, you're right.. India and China are still importing, so fuck it... lets keep burning our shit!  WHY NOT?

    That makes no sense.  We strangle it here.  We push to kill it Europe.  We put major obstacles in front of 3rd world investment.  We get investors to pull out (largest Sovereign Investment Fund in the World perhaps?). And we make it too expensive to export and ship to be worth it.

    Its all progress.  But the measure of success is not "Will there be any coal being used in the world by October?"  Yes?  Then hell.. we failed.

    C'mon man......

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:27:02 AM PDT

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    •  Exactly where did I say this? (0+ / 0-)
      What would be the better reaction?  Oh, you're right.. India and China are still importing, so fuck it... lets keep burning our shit!  WHY NOT?
      I'd be absolutely delighted if coal disappeared. Immediately.

      But it's not - instead it remains firmly on an upward trajectory.

      And yeah, I guess the US is kinda a bright spot in that regard, until one stops to think that coal's (relative) demise in this country is due to fracked NG, which is (almost certainly) more polluting than coal when fugitive methane is accounted for. . .. .

      The point being, this all seems like a huge distraction from actually taking any meaningful steps to solve the problem.

      •  Well, coal to green was NEVER going to happen (6+ / 0-)

        The economics were so stacked against it.

        We need a transition fuel and yes fracking has all kinds of inherent problems, no one disputes that, but it has helped crater the coal market right when we needed it to in order to get traction in the renewable marketspace.

        In 2000, the US generated 52% of its energy from coal.  If you would have said then that in less than 15 years wind and solar would be able to compete with coal head-to-head on price point, even WITH the coal subsidies, people would have assumed you had no idea what the hell you were talking about.

        And yet Austin Energy just signed a 25-year contract to get solar energy at 5¢ per kWh.  Natural Gas came in at 7¢, Coal at 10¢ and Nuclear at 13¢ in the bidding process.

        Natural Gas is going to take a while to beat out because of the supply boom, the massive infrastructure investments going on and the utter lack of fracking regulation.  But if renewables can ramp up by stealing market share from coal a better approach to combatting gas will be to start making inroads on the carbon subsidies which, if removed, would tilt the marketspace away from gas rather dramatically.

        You can't have that conversation though when your "future forward solution" is still in single digit percentages of total generation.

        Btw... in 2012, Coal was down to 37% of total generation and dropped a bit more in 2013.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:52:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah OK, that sounds good, but (0+ / 0-)

          exactly what does this mean?

          City-owned Austin Energy is about to sign a 25-year PPA with Sun Edison for 150 megawatts of solar power at "just below" 5 cents per kilowatt-hour
          What I'm getting at, from the information given it is impossible to ascertain just how much (or even a ballpark figure) of how much electricity they actually anticipate sourcing this way.
    •  Wisper: you ought to be shouting your wisdom :) (0+ / 0-)

      Excellent comment.

      Excellent diary.

      Keep going!

      #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

      by ivote2004 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:50:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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