Despite climate threat, U.S. coal finds willing home elsewhere


Climate change is having a present-day, negative impact on Americans' everyday lives and is damaging the U.S. economy, and calls on governments to find ways to lower emissions, particularly from energy production, according to a new National Climate Assessment report.

But you can't expect people to willingly reduce their standard of living, so even as the U.S. turns away from coal, there are ready markets for America’s coal across the globe.

Coal is so cheap that it is likely for many years to be the cornerstone for many nations’ energy policies: U.S. coal offers much of Europe a less expensive alternative than coal from nearby mines even including transportation costs, Japan looks to spend billions of dollars on new coal-fired plants, while coal is likely to be the fuel of China into the foreseeable future.

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Comments (15)
  • David at Imperial Beach
    , contributor
    Comments (4382) | Send Message
     
    Coal is much easier to transport than natural gas. The best thing we can do with it is to export it. The best way we can impact climate change is to plant trees. If we replaced all the forested area that has been clearcut since the beginning of the industrial revolution we would not be worrying about CO2 emissions. Plus we would have a sustainable wood products industry.
    6 May 2014, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • Bret Jensen
    , contributor
    Comments (13645) | Send Message
     
    There are more trees in the U.S. than when the pilgrims landed. Fracking has had the biggest impact on reduction of greenhouse gases as natural gas has displaced coal as a primary fuel for utilities and industry. If we implemented the Pickens plan and put the 4.5mm tractor trailers on NG from oil not only would be drive greenhouse gases down further but eliminate 4mm barrels a day in oil imports....which would have huge positive impacts on trade balance and our own security.
    6 May 2014, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (706) | Send Message
     
    It’s a shame Government Intelligence isn’t a shortable stock; I could retire after a 1 day investment.
    6 May 2014, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • SoldHigh
    , contributor
    Comments (991) | Send Message
     
    So according to the cherry-picked group of 'scientists' picked by the govt for their views, the planet is overheating and everyone's taxes must be raised, thereby, accomplishing nothing of significance other than giving more wealth to the govt for redistribution. Got it.

     

    The USA could have ZERO emissions and China would more than make up for it. China is most grateful that the USA is being led by fools who are slowing the US economy, thereby giving China more power as they grow even faster.

     

    FYI: More economic power = more military power.
    6 May 2014, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3492) | Send Message
     
    China is drowning in its own pollution.
    6 May 2014, 11:27 AM Reply Like
  • BoughtLow
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    97% of published science papers conclude that the planet is warming up because of humans. You'd be hard pressed to find a 'scientist' who isn't being paid by a fossil energy conglomerate to say otherwise.
    Just because China is contributing more to CO2 emissions doesn't mean we shouldn't lead the way with innovative ways to decrease our impact. Americans still lead the way by far on a per capita rate.
    The only fools getting in the way and slowing our economy are the ones who still think the future lies in fossil fuels.
    We still have the largest military on the planet. We still spend 10x as much as anyone else on our military.
    20 May 2014, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (706) | Send Message
     
    You need to research who Maurice Strong is and his role with Al Gore and Goldman Sachs in the CCE. Maurice Strong is a driving force behind the IPCC reports and the Agenda 21 efforts to tax Americans and send the money to poor countries in Africa. The IPCC is a joke and nothing more than a bunch of 'scientists' who are dependent on gubmnt grants.

     

    Our energy future may lie elsewhere but we are currently dependent on carbon based energy and anyone who doesn't understand this is a fool. We have 976 days until fool # 1 disappears.
    20 May 2014, 11:42 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3492) | Send Message
     
    In 1948, when he was nineteen, Strong was hired as a trainee by a leading brokerage firm, James Richardson & Sons, Limited of Winnipeg where he took an interest in the oil business winning a transfer as an oil specialist to Richardson's office in Calgary, Alberta. There he made the acquaintance of one of the most successful leaders of the oil industry, Jack Gallagher who hired him as his assistant. At Gallagher's Dome Petroleum, Strong occupied several key roles including vice president of finance, leaving the firm in 1956 and setting up his own firm, M.F. Strong Management, assisting investors in locating opportunities in the Alberta oil patch.[7]

     

    So he started off as an oil man.
    20 May 2014, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • Hubert Biagi
    , contributor
    Comments (826) | Send Message
     
    Coal is here to stay. Instead of attacking the coal industry in this country, thus encouraging coal exports to China and India, where it is burned with much higher emissions, the Obama administration should lead the world in development of coal fired power plants. After all, last time I checked, it's all the same atmosphere... right?
    6 May 2014, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3492) | Send Message
     
    Unfortunately, yes. Right now it is cheaper for power plants to covert to burning natural gas then retrofitting old plants to burn coal cleanly. I do not think the US wants to go back to the bad old days before the Nixon administration when the air and water were heavily polluted.
    6 May 2014, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (706) | Send Message
     
    OM, I don’t think you will find anyone who wants to go back to the days of all out pollution but someone with the government needs to grow a brain and look at the economic impact these changes are costing consumers and businesses. I know of several plants in the Northeast US that spent several hundred million $$ to comply with EPA requirements only to have the EPA move the targets. After spending all that money, these plants now have to make a decision on whether to pour more money into their operations or close.

     

    Our economy is struggling and the government just keeps adding burdens on an almost daily basis with complete disregard to the economic impact it will have on consumers and businesses. There is no reason they can’t phase these changes in over time to lessen the burden on our country.
    6 May 2014, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3492) | Send Message
     
    I do agree with your statements. No sense in very small, incremental changes that whose costs will cause unintended consequences.
    6 May 2014, 02:27 PM Reply Like
  • kappaseek
    , contributor
    Comments (261) | Send Message
     
    I think the Financial Times should divest from fossil fuels. It's a moral issue on a higher plane than slavery even. What does leadership mean? What does the responsibility of august institutions like the FT imply? Much appreciated this one post...but let's have leadership...let's think about the future...otherwise the market system we love will prove to be a sick joke.
    6 May 2014, 11:35 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (706) | Send Message
     
    Kappa, might I suggest all those people looking to ‘divest’ from fossil fuels or other forms of carbon based energy sources join an Amish or Mennonite community? If the Amish won’t allow them in (they do have standards so my guess is they won’t), they can start their own community and prohibit the use of electricity or motorized vehicles.

     

    Perhaps a more realistic solution would be to find a balanced approach to protecting the environment while protecting US jobs at the same time, something sorely lacking in today’s leaders (sic).
    7 May 2014, 05:58 AM Reply Like
  • freeman8201
    , contributor
    Comments (823) | Send Message
     
    Stanford stated its endowment will sell all coal related stocks. More and more institutions will probably displace coal.
    7 May 2014, 06:27 PM Reply Like
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