Articals of interest to the coal industry.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Its getting better

Posted on Tue, Oct. 31, 2006

Kentucky has new stake in power plant

Louisville-based E.ON U.S. joins group governing FutureGen plant


Kentucky missed out on an experimental near-zero-emissions power plant called FutureGen, but a Kentucky company will announce today that it's buying a piece of the action.
E.ON U.S., which owns Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities, will put up $25 million to become a FutureGen Alliance member.
Although the plant will probably be built in Texas or Illinois, company officials say lessons learned from the pilot project eventually will mean cleaner air in Kentucky.
"We will be able to take the technology from it and apply it to our own facilities," said Vic Steffieri, the chairman, CEO and president of E.ON U.S.
The technology might be retrofitted onto existing plants or used to build new plants, he said.
The company has not yet decided whether it will ask the Kentucky Public Service Commission for permission to pass some or all of its FutureGen investment to its customers in the state, or even how the commission would react to such a proposal, Steffieri said.
FutureGen is a non-profit partnership of 10 international power companies and the U.S. Department of Energy.
E.ON's $25 million investment will make it the 11th member of the partnership. The Department of Energy is putting up $700 million.
The FutureGen plant will generate 275 megawatts -- enough electricity to supply 150,000 average homes.
What makes it different from existing coal-fired plants is how it will turn coal into electricity, and what will happen to the pollution produced along the way.
The coal won't be burned; it will be heated under pressure and converted into hydrogen and carbon monoxide gases.
They will react with steam to produce more hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The hydrogen will be used to generate electricity.
The carbon dioxide, which today's power plants send up smokestacks, will be concentrated and pumped deep underground. Also known as CO2, it is a significant contributor to global warming.
The FutureGen Web site says 90 percent of the carbon dioxide will be captured initially, and all eventually will.
Sulfur and ash will be captured and sold for commercial use.
Kentucky was one of several states vying for the plant. State officials were touting a site near Henderson in Western Kentucky.
Kentucky was eliminated in July. Only sites in Texas and Illinois are still in the running.
Reach Andy Mead at 231-3319 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3319; or at
© 2006 Lexington Herald-Leader and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
Warning reading this article can really mess you up if you are a person not from the mountains and believes and accepts things as truth, when told by a person who says they are representing themselves as a person who knows right and wants to show you right, and you should listen and believe. You should believe because they are cloaked in a religious garment or have a white collar around their neck. Or they take people on environmental tours showing them things they believe harmful to the earth and mankind, and they want to get good folks to believe it also. But when you look a little longer at what these self appointed people who "feel" (because they couldn’t be thinking) they know best. They "feel" we who live here are all too stupid to know what is good for us and what is not. What is right and what is wrong! Any good hearted person, who will listen to these people for a spell, would come to the conclusion that all coal mining is bad and we need to stop it.

The only problem is these people who are pushing anti mining present half truths and right out lies. That’s a fine way to represent and hide behind two good causes. First it was the environmental movement that was taken hostage and now its religion. Today as evidenced by the article below where religious dogma is being used to pitch the lefty point across to un-suspecting and very trusting and for the most part good folks who might go to the Smokies once a year to experience the mountain life. Traffic jams and tourist traps and all. But folks who don’t have a clue nonetheless about central Appalachia and the topography we have here. The people you will read about below are those who would take this tourist out and show them active mine sites. Show them the dust, the big earth moving machines, the black coal that makes it all worthwhile. Then they leave and let them assume the land where an active surface mine is operating will stay as a industrial site with no grass or trees, forever a brown and black moonscape, where nothing will ever grow again. NOT TRUE. Liar liar, pants on fire. Shame, shame.

When we have recovered the coal and thus the energy that America demands and requires to maintain our current quality of life we reclaim to land in the name of nature and about 5000 state and federal laws. We are shaping the land back after its been mined, in most cases into dynamic land that is different and different in a better way. A place where things can now occur like homes, farming, shopping, and economic development. God has allowed us to change it and make it better. He has given us the knowledge to make houses warm at night and allowed people not to be required to be burning coal and wood in individual polluting home stoves and business establishments like we did a generation ago. To take it to central points where it can be converted into electrical power in a much cleaner manner with huge scrubbers and air pollution controls. There are also laws (a lot of laws) that insure the land is restored to a productive state. Remember that the lefty point of view hates that word, "productive". What we here in the mountains consider productive is newly developed level land as a results of surface mining where we can build shopping centers, schools, hospitals, banks etc... They consider this bad stuff. But wait they desire these things where they come from but it’s somehow bad when we build these things on former mine sites. Of course they drive back to their suburb or college campus to a warm heated home or apartment, heated at least 50% with coal. They enjoy a hot bath or shower that night with the water made hot with a couple of pounds of coal back at the electrical generation plant. I guess Granny would call that being a hypocrite. They use about 3 pounds of coal on their computers to order a book. They enjoy a ride in a car made with steel made from coal. Yet they come here and tell us to stop mining coal. When it’s their demand for it that makes us mine it in the first place.

I tell you what! If all the people who come in here and go on the "protest coal tour" would start first by looking in the mirror and change their evil ways of using electricity and give up the high quality of life they now enjoy, coal miners will pack err up by Friday and find new jobs. If you could bring those same people back in just a few short years after the mined site after it had been reclaimed they would not feel the same way they do after the short brain-washing session you will read about in the article below. If you could bring them back to show them the level land created in an area where the number one problem to economic development is the lack of level land that things can be built on and things can be grown like the grapes vines at the site in Wise County where wines are fermented named after local seams of coal. Or they would see the cattle on rolling fields where steep slopes existed before mining. It would shock those good folks coming in here to have their brains-washed if the facts were ever to surface.

Facts like VMA has agreements with groups like the National Wild Turkey Foundation (NWTF) that ask VMA coal producing and reclaiming members to re-plant the land with a seed mix of grass and shrubs purchase from and provided by the NWTF that encourage the wild turkey and other wildlife as well such as deer, game birds, and numerous other wild animals. It would shock them to know that anyone here in the mountains who hunt will tell you the most games are located on reclaimed mined lands.

One of the reasons for this for example is the needs of the wild turkey. They need water and a forest sure, but did you know they also need grassy areas where they can find the bugs they need to survive as well as feed their young? A reclaimed mine site offers this. This helps explain the comeback of the wild turkey in the mountain region of Southwest Virginia where they were extinct before the late 60's and early 70's when surface mining began in full force and there were no reclaimation laws that required anything to be re-planted at all and they still reclaimed themselves and brought the turkey back as well as deer to the region. Thanks to the newly open long benches ( and where the now unwelcome Autumn Olive) and open grass areas could thrive and create food for wildlife. We in the industry must read articles like the one below in order to face these people who would hide behind things like religion to attack us and the mining industry. They have already high jacked the true environmental movement away from the true environmentalist, like me and the thousands of good people who work in permitting and environmental areas in the mining industry who deal with environmental issues on a regular basis who live, hunt and fish here, as well as drink the water for goodness sake. We care people! We are as concerned about the earth and are as religious as these would be self appointed do good'ers. We just don’t try and put others down with it.

Who are these people? Well to start out with they are not elected to anything and represent no one in the community. They are a small group of people who support each other in their delusional world. They just look for groups who will listen to their dogma and delusion. They get good folks from "off" as Granny use to call them, bring them in here and preach their version of the Bible then send them back to churches all over the country to repeat the half truths and lies. They try and take the higher ground but I am telling you brothers, their version of higher ground is built on and is nothing but sand and it will not stand the test of truth. God put us here. When Adam and Eve took a bite of "the apple" from the tree of knowledge we were off to the races. Today we use technology to make the production of electricity these good folks demand cleaner and all our lives better. Really that’s what it boils down to. We got better homes, autos, education, schools etc... As a result of using knowledge to make the world a better place for us all man and nature. We have increased the span of life in one generation so as we now live one third longer than good folks did one generation ago. Stopping development and being hypocritical is not the answer good folks. Good folks who mean well and have all the good intentions in the world. Know the truth and the truth shall set you free. You coal miners hold your nose and read this just so you will know what they are selling to good folks who don’t live here and don’t have a clue as to what’s going on here. But are willing to listen to those who would call themselves religious people. Whilst all the time spreading a lie and encouraging others to do the same. I think Grand pappy would call them suckers.

You young kids in college who take these tours or come to protest us on the weekends read this wake up and don’t follow false know it all's.

My thots and comments are in this red though out the artical where I thot there a need. Man blogging is fun.......

October 28, 2006Taking On a Coal Mining Practice as a Matter of Faith


The windswept ridge that Sharman Chapman-Crane hiked to on arecent fall afternoon is the kind of place, she said, that she normally would avoid. From there, she could see what she loved about Appalachia and what it had lost, and she wanted her visitors to see it, too.The old rounded peaks of the mountains encircled the ridge, dense with trees smudged red and gold. (they always start with this romantic notion on the Appalachian Mountains, this neaqrly always sets the scene) But in the middle of the peaks, several stood stripped bare and chopped up, a result of an increasingly common and controversial coal mining practice called mountaintop removal.( ah here is where they leave out anything about reclaimation to a higher and greater use) "Doesn't it say in Scripture, 'Who can weigh a mountain, measure a basket of earth?' " Ms. Chapman-Crane said, recalling descriptions of God'somnipotence in Isaiah 40:12. "Well, only God can. (I guess you ignore what you want to in human development that has made all our lives a lot more easy thru the years and just pick on mining and us coal miners ) But now, the coal companies seem to be able to do it, too."Ms. Chapman-Crane, her colleagues at the Mennonite Central Committee Appalachia and other Appalachian Christians are trying to halt mountaintop removal, and at the heart of their work, they say, is their faith. (I would guess more their hate of working people and the ability God has give man to make it a better world) They are part of an awakening among religious people to environmental issues, said Paul Gorman, executive director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, an inter religious alliance. Increasingly,religious people across denominations are organizing around local issues, like preventing a landfill, preserving wetlands and changing mining. (and very ofetn not having one fact but just pure emotion )"People of faith are thinking afresh about human place and purpose in the greater web of life," Mr. Gorman said. "They are asking, What does it mean to be present in a crisis ( they need to have a crisis and they need fear to make their porject work,. this is a tried and true form of explotation of the people of our region by outside the region do gooders who think they mean well but really are so out of touch they think squirrels aint made for eating) of God's creation made by God's children?" (This is their attempt to say they are "of God" and superior to us un's here in the woods sort of like savages I reckon if we dont agree with them) Although Christian environmental activists (activists- this is their word for themselves and also makes them feel better than us mere mortals who just work all day long and dont have the time to invent these evils they perceive we are doing. In reality they have no clue to what is really going on ) speak out against mountaintopremoval at different levels of government, many believe that showing the practice's toll (but only one side which is why I am here doing this to show you the reader the other side) will persuade others to join them in seeking stricter regulation of it, (as if the thousands of current laws and regulations just are not enough) if not an outright ban. A new group, Christians for the Mountains, urges religious people to take upmountaintop removal "as a spiritual issue," and it has made a DVD that it isdistributing to churches and individuals, said Allen Johnson, an evangelical Christian and a founder of the group. The Rev. John Rausch, director of the Catholic (Catholic's are the best at this because guilt is a major part of the dogma and the Catholic church has the market cornered on guilt, well almost. I could be wrong I suppose others use guilt also. But I grew up a Baptist and fear was out big thing) Committee of Appalachia, has led tours of mountaintop removal sites since 1994. Mr. Rausch estimates that 400 people have taken his tour. They learn of the tours by word of mouth or from their churches, pay a few hundred dollars to stay in simple accommodations, ( I knew a donation need would show up sooner or later) hike several miles through forests and mined lands and talk to people whose lives have been affected by mountaintop removal. ( This means to people who dont work and dont want anyone else to) The Mennonite Central Committee Appalachia, based in Whitesburg, Ky., gave its first tour in October, focusing on a corner of southeastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia rich in coal and diverse forests.On the second morning of the four-day tour, the trip's leaders, Ms.Chapman-Crane and the Rev. Duane Beachey, marched their three-member group up the mile-long trail to Bad Branch Falls. Poplars, beeches, hemlocks and magnolias thatched together a canopy above the trail, and the rain on the leaves made a soft ticking sound. Wild ginseng (no way them mountain boys would leave ginseng beside a trail like that, no that would have been dug up long ago. this make me question even more the writer true sense of realism and shows me the un-facts in the artical) and wintergreen lined the path. Cottage-size boulders leaned forward over a rushing stream below the trail."Not every place on the mountains has waterfalls like Bad Branch," Ms.Chapman-Crane said. "But this is pretty much what it's like on the mountains here. (another misrepresentation) The forests of the Appalachian range are like a northern rain forest."Mary Yoder, who had volunteered to come on the trip for her congregation,Columbus Mennonite Church in Columbus, Ohio, asked, "So this is the kind of place that gets blown up in mountaintop removal? "Mr. Chapman-Crane replied, "This is what would be lost, is lost, when they blast a mountaintop.(not only that but they kill Babi and eat him) "The United States is rich with coal, and mountaintop removal has begun to replace underground mining in Appalachia as the preferred method of extraction (another misrepresentation or lie whichever you prefer) because of its efficiency and lower cost. Mountaintop removal involves leveling mountains with explosives to reach seams of coal. The debris that had once been the mountain is usually dumped by bulldozers and huge trucks into neighboring valleys, (creating leval land where there is none and the reason all the development has been beside the creek thus encouraging more stream pollution) burying streams (another lie, most are ditches that only hold water when it rains).The coal industry asserts that mountaintop removal is a safer way to removecoal than sending miners underground and that without it, companies would have to close mines and lay off workers. (duh if you shut down the mine people go home and are then out of work) Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association, a coal lobbying group, said that by fighting mountaintop removal religious groups might find their priorities colliding."They find themselves in a difficult position," Mr. Popovich said, "because they're expressing support for those who purport to protect nature, and, at the same time, that activism carries implications for the human side of the natural equation. Human welfare depends on the rational exploitation of nature.( I dont think i would have used those words but ok ) "Christianity runs wide and deep in Appalachia. At the Courthouse Cafe in Whitesburg, Mr. Beachey explained that as a Christian concern for his neighbors (whom he must think are too stoopit to make decisions on their own) drove his desire to rein in mountaintop removal. But as in much ofAppalachia, pastors and churchgoers here are reluctant to stir up trouble:many work for coal companies, (no kidding who would have thunk it? The other side is mentioned here but no real attempt is made by the writer to talk to any of theswe strange creatures) or the people next to them in the pew do. Others believe stopping mountaintop removal would eliminate the few jobs that remain. (6000 in virginia and they pay on average over $50,000.00 per year) Many understand their faith differently than Christian environmentalists do. (no kidding) One night, Darrell Caudill and several friends gathered to play their guitars for the environmental tour and sing traditional songs and hymns. Mr.Caudill, 57, works for a coal company and believes in being a good steward of the earth. (which is the way the thousands of good people feel who work in the mining industry feel about the work they do, they see themselves as good steward's of the land and try to make good decisions in respect of that) . But to him, he said, being a Christian means being saved and spreading the Gospel. There is no tension between being committed to his faith and supporting mountaintop removal."Why did God produce coal then and put it underground?" said Mr. Caudill,who attends a non-denominational evangelical church. "He produced things that we need on this earth. Without coal, you wouldn't have the warmth and light you have right now." (thats the other side folks in the entire artical you got what maybe three lines telling the other side in a very intentional weak argument ) Late in the trip, the tour group drove Lucious Thompson, 63, a former coalminer, to the horseshoe of peaks above McRoberts, where he lives. The peaks have been leveled. The woods where he had hunted are gone. (you must have the destruction of Eden to make the guilt trip stick ) The new grass on the new plateaus barely clings to the soil, (there is a violation of one of the thousands of laws dealing the reclaiming of the land to restore nature to its orginial or improved state) which means that McRoberts often floods now after hard rains, he said."I've been flooded three times since they started working on themountaintop," Mr. Thompson said. He talked of neighbors whose house foundations had been cracked because of the daily blasting, (but he left out the fact that a pre-blast inspection is performed on any house near the mine site and if there is any thing broken then there is a record of what it was like before and the law says it must be fixed or replaced if damaged, thats the law) of a pond lost to sludge and of respiratory ailments because of the coal dust flying from the coal trucks."The coal company says it's God's will," ( I dont remember seeing this on any company logo or in any official press release) he said. "Well, God ain't ever run no bulldozer. ( I guess you could say he is saying "God loves me but he cant stand you" ) "People like Mr. Thompson and the woods and mountains of Appalachia seemed to make the point the tour's organizers hoped for. After the tour, Ms. Yoder returned to Columbus to ( to spread the stoopitiy to others) tell her congregation of about 200 what she had learned. "My comment to the church was that I would do the tour with an open mind, (sure you did) "she said, "and my conclusion is there is no room for mountaintop removal in our country. (Oh I still want my power to come on each day when I flip the light switch and I have no other solution as to how to do that but what the heck I am just not that smart to see I cant have it both ways and that my electricity must be produced by some method. i prefer to just think it comes from the wall) "HomeWorld U.S. N.Y. / Region Business Technology Science Health Sports OpinionArts Style Travel Job Market Real Estate Automobiles Back to TopCopyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Monday, October 30, 2006

China spending 80 billion yuan in coal chemical programs

China's total investment in coal chemical programs under construction reached over 80 billion yuan (10.1 billion US dollars), the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said Monday.
Due to price hikes in the international oil market, the coal chemical industry has been growing rapidly with the demand for fuel products.
The programs under construction would raise annual production capacity by 8.5 million tons of methanol, 900,000 tons of olefin and 1.24 million tons of coal-liquefied oil, said NDRC.
Total annual production would rise to 34 million tons of methanol, three million tons of olefin and three million tons of coal-liquefied oil.
The coal chemical industry also produces coke, calcium carbide and coal-developed fertilizers.
Last year, China's production of coke reached 232.83 million tons, calcium carbide 8.95 million tons and coal-developed fertilizers 25 million tons, all the highest in the world.
The NDRC issued a circular in July to stop ratification or registration of coal chemical programs to prevent possible over-production.
Source: Xinhua
Oct. 30, 2006, 2:33PMShares of Coal Partners Feel a Chill
© 2006 The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Shares of two coal property managers tumbled on Monday after an Citigroup analyst downgraded the stocks over concerns that they might eventually feel pressure from issues negatively impacting the broader industry.
Shares of Houston-based Natural Resources Partners LP fell $2, or 3.7 percent, to $52.35 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Shares of Alliance Resource Partners LP retreated 70 cents to $36.26 on the Nasdaq.
Analyst John Tysseland downgraded both limited partnerships to "Buy" from "Hold." He cut the target price on Natural Resources Partners to $55 from $65 and took Alliance Resource Partners to $36 from $41.50.
Tysseland observed that coal mining stocks, or shares of the companies that lease land from the limited partnerships in exchange for royalties, have significantly underperformed recently due to margin compressions and lower production volumes.
In recent months, most coal miners have faced higher production costs from factors such as rising equipment prices, more expensive labor and greater safety measures. Many have also faced unwanted production cuts because of mine issues, or have voluntarily slowed production to ease an inventory glut estimated at about 20 million tons.
Tysseland said limited partners could feel some of the effect.
"As this tough operating environment persists we are led to believe that the coal (partnerships) are likely to experience similar challenges, such as declining margins, lower royalties, and potentially lower production," he said in a research note.
In related downgrades, Tysseland also moved to "Hold" from "Buy" the subordinated units of Natural Resources Partners and Alliance Holdings GP-LP, the holding company for Alliance Resource Partners.
Shares of subordinated units of Natural Resources Partners fell $1.03, or 2 percent, to $51.88 on the NYSE. Shares of Alliance Holdings lost 55 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $20.04 on the Nasdaq. The stock has traded in a range of $18.55 to $26.25 since going public in May
Look for the red and blue highlights.

U.S. coal plant boom poses big environmental, economic questions

Associated Press
DALLAS - A building boom that would add scores of new coal-fired power plants to the nation's power grid is creating a new dilemma for politicians, environmentalists and utility companies across the United States.
Should power companies be permitted to build new plants that pollute more but are reliable and less expensive? Or should regulators push utilities toward cleaner burning coal plants, even if it means they will cost more and are based on newer, yet still unproven, technology?
How those questions are answered will have huge implications over the next few decades. It could determine how Americans light, heat and cool their homes and business, the rate of return on utility investments and the potential environmental impact of the new plants.
Nowhere do these competing interests play out with such force as in Texas, where 16 new coal-fired plants are proposed - 11 of them by Dallas-based TXU Corp., the state's biggest power company.
The scope of TXU's 5-year, $10 billion plan is considered bellwether and being closely watched by industry analysts, lawmakers, competitors and environmentalists across the U.S.
"TXU put its stake in the ground and said it will (build the plants) faster and cheaper than anyone else," said Daniele M. Seitz, analyst with investment firm Dahlman Rose. "So they have something to prove."
The company is hardly alone, however.
Some 154 new coal-fired plants are on the drawing board in 42 states. Texas and Illinois are the only states where 10 or more plants are planned, according to the National Energy Technology Laboratory.
Energy analysts say factors driving coal's resurgence are soaring power demands, volatile natural gas prices and a favorable investment market.
Coal now accounts for about 50 percent of the power generated in the U.S. By the year 2030, that share will increase to 57 percent, according to Energy Department forecasts.
The U.S. has the world's largest coal reserves, enough to last for the next 200 to 250 years, analysts believe.
Larry Makovich, managing director for consultant group Cambridge Energy Research Associates, said the urgency to bring more power-generating plants online cannot be understated.
"A fundamental reality of the power business is there is no single fuel of choice, so if you are going to survive in the long run, you need to have a good mix of fuels and technologies," he said. "If we are going to keep supply and demand in balance, you're looking at a five-year lead time, so you have to get started building these plants now."
The argument over how TXU should build power-generating plants plays out almost daily with critics and proponents weighing in on the potential merits and drawbacks of the company's plans.
TXU says the proposed plants will meet the state's growing demand for power, give a sorely needed economic boost to nearby small towns and will reduce toxic emissions by replacing older, less efficient plants.
"The coal plant of today is so much cleaner; it makes so much less emissions than what most Americans and Texans can conjure," said Mike McCall, chief executive of TXU's wholesale division. "It can be a good viable resource without really harming the environment.
McCall says Texas is growing at a rate requiring the company to bring two big power plants online each year just to stay even with demand.
Critics, however, counter the company is driven by profits and is rushing to beat more stringent federal restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions in an era of escalating concerns over global warming. Texas already produces more carbon dioxide than any other state, a fact that worries big city mayors downwind of the proposed plants.
The debate soon could end up in federal court. Dallas attorney Rick Addison recently announced plans to sue TXU, alleging potential violations of the federal Clean Air Act.
"It's remarkable and unnecessary the amount of pollutants they are going to put in the air," said Addison, a member of the Houston-based Locke Liddell and Sapp law firm. "The only way to get these issues resolved is at the highest level and reviewed under the appropriate law."
The battle lines were drawn April 20, when TXU Chief Executive John Wilder announced the company's plans shortly after much of Texas underwent a rolling power blackout. Since then, each side has assembled a team of backers comprised of affected residents, lawmakers, and lawyers.
In Colorado City, Texas, a town of 4,100 about 10 miles from where TXU wants to place one of the plants, civic leaders and lawmakers support the venture. They believe it will be an economic boon to the sleepy West Texas town, said Mayor Jim Baum.
Baum said TXU's project will provide the town a lifeline. He said he trusts TXU will be responsible to the area's environment, saying city officials would even support a second unit if TXU wishes.
"We know they will not do anything to come in here and harm the environment," he said. "(TXU Senior Vice President) Richard Wistrand's mother and childhood friends still live there. Do you think he would do something to harm them?"
But Dallas Mayor Laura Miller and Houston Mayor Bill White recently formed a coalition of 17 mayors opposing the TXU's 11 proposed plants and five others being considered by other Texas companies. The group has lined up law firms statewide bracing for a courtroom battle.
"Texas needs to be a leader on this issue and not where we are, which in my opinion is out of step and not aligned with people who are concerned about air pollution," Miller said.
Miller recently spent a week visiting existing TXU plants, as well as a coal gasification plant in Tampa, Fla., that turns coal into gas and removes the pollutants before the fuel is burned.
Coal gasification plants can cost up to 20 percent more to build than a conventional plant. But they also can be more efficient to operate and save utilities the hassle and expense of adding pollution-control devices.
Already, American Electric Power, of Columbus, Ohio, Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Inc. and Charlotte-based Duke Energy Corp, are reviewing plans to implement this technology.
Mike Morris, chairman for American Electric Power, said the pressures on power companies to burn fuel in the cleanest way possible will only gain momentum in coming years.
"From our vantage point we think the technology for clean coal is there," he said. "It can be done, but there is a challenge."
Projects such as these have Miller, some Texas lawmakers and environmentalists asking why TXU can't consider the gasification option, even for just a few of its 11 new plants.
According to advocacy group Environmental Defense, TXU isn't doing enough to address carbon dioxide emissions.
The group says that if TXU proceeds with its building plan, annual emissions would jump from a level of 55 million tons in 2004 to 133 million tons by 2011 -- an increase equivalent to putting an extra 10 million Cadillac Escalades on the road.
For it's part, TXU says turning the coal into synthetic gas remains an unproven technology and not as reliable as burning pulverized coal -- the process the company's new plants would be designed to use.
Several analysts agree.
"For purposes of generating electricity, a pulverized system is well-proven," said John Mead, who heads the Southern Illinois University Coal Research Center in Carbondale, Ill.
"Gasification has much more limited commercial experience," Mead said. "There are still some unknowns as to just what the operating costs would be and how reliable would such a system be."
This link will take you to China and a story about the mining business there. Its not much different than the ones we get here. One sided. there's. Oh and its about 7 min and 30 sec long.
They open one coal fired power plant a day in China

China's leaders are worried.

At a major Communist Party meeting last week, they debated what to do about the yawning gap between the ever more prosperous cities and the impoverished countryside. They're also concerned about how rampant economic growth, fuelled by coal, is ruining the environment. And with new coal-fired power stations opening every 10 days in China - the impact of producing climate-changing gases will affect everyone.Since 1900 overall global carbon emissions have risen 13 per cent. Those in China have increased 47 per cent.China is now the second largest emitter of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions after the United States with 12.7% of the world's total, by 2025 China's share of world carbon emissions is expected to increase to 17.8%.Our China Correspondent Lindsey Hilsum travelled to Shanxi province, west of Beijing to the village of Shangma Huangtou, where coal is destroying a community.
That $40 per barrel of oil is the deal breaker. Congressman Boucher is looking at some bills that would insure this price not fall below this magic number that will allow companies to make money thru a federal tax to maintain the profit for these huge investments that are needed to make this work.

Coal-to-liquid plant has long path

By MIKE DENNISON - IR State Bureau - 10/17/2006
HELENA - As headlines early this month proclaimed the birth of a major energy project near Roundup, partners behind the coal-to-liquids plant are quite frank about what lies ahead: A long, expensive and difficult road.In fact, when you strip away the fanfare, the bird-in-hand at the Bull Mountain project is basically one thing: A preliminary agreement to perform a "feasibility study" on whether a coal-to-liquids refinery might work at this location.The study will look at the economics of the $1 billion to $1.5 billion plant, said Bethany Daley, spokeswoman for DKRW Advanced Fuels of Houston, the lead partner in the deal.Once that study is completed and the project looks possible, then the real heavy lifting begins, she says - such as lining up the money to finance an engineering study and the construction."We'll be the ones looking for the financing once the feasibility study is done," Daley said. "It's not just, 'Can we do Bull Mountain," but (the) need to look at what type of financing we need."Observers and industry officials say the final outcome can hinge on many factors, not the least of which is the cost of oil, which is a competing commodity.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer's top economic development official also says the project has many pitfalls to negotiate."There are a lot of show-stoppers in every deal," said Evan Barrett, chief business officer for the state. "When deals are announced, there are 10 different ways it might not happen. This is no different."Schweitzer, who's been promoting the coal-to-liquids technology as a possible economic boon for eastern Montana and the nation, held a news conference Oct. 2 in Helena to announce the Bull Mountain project plan.It calls for a coal-to-liquids refinery that would produce 22,000 barrels a day of diesel fuel, using coal from an expanded Bull Mountain mine south of Roundup. It also includes building a 300-megawatt electric power plant that would use "clean coal" technology.It offers the prospect of 800 construction jobs, several hundred permanent jobs at the plant, thousands of spin-off jobs in the area and millions of dollars in tax revenue.Schweitzer and others at the news conference acknowledged the project is at least four or five years down the road, possibly seven.In interviews with the Lee Newspapers State Bureau in the past week, partners in the deal talked more about the project details and how the pieces may fit together - or may not.Lead partner DKRW also is pursuing a similar plant near Medicine Bow, Wyo., in the south-central part of the state. It has licensing agreements with General Electric and Rentech Inc., which have developed the technology to "gasify" coal and convert that gas to diesel fuel.DKRW was founded nearly five years ago by a trio of former executives from Enron Corp., who were involved in renewable energy programs for Enron.Arch Coal Inc. of St Louis, the second-largest coal producer in the country, is a 25 percent partner with DKRW Advanced Fuels on the potential coal-to-liquid projects, contributing $25 million in cash this summer.The Montana partner is Bull Mountain Properties, which controls the Roundup-area coal mine that's supposed to provide the coal.Haley of DKRW said the Bull Mountain and Wyoming projects are separate projects, and are not dependent on each other in any way. One advantage of the Bull Mountain project is that it has an operating coal mine, while the Medicine Bow project has only coal reserves that aren't developed, she said.Among other things, the feasibility study will examine whether coal reserves at Bull Mountain are adequate to supply the CTL plant for many years, she said.Arch Coal has leases on the coal reserve in Wyoming, but has no coal interests at the Bull Mountain project, said spokeswoman Kim Link. Its interest in the Montana deal is only through its 25 percent partnership with DKRW Advanced Fuels, she said.Link said Arch believes the main hurdle for a CTL plant is ensuring the technology will work on an industrial scale, because it hasn't been tested at that scale anywhere in the United States.Loan guarantees or subsidies from the federal government may be needed to underwrite some of the risk, she said, and a new tax-incentive proposal before Congress is expected in November.Mark Koenig, director of investor relations for Rentech in Denver, said his company believes preparing the technology for large-scale production shouldn't be that difficult.Rentech has been working since the early 1990s on the process that converts natural gas (or gasified coal) into diesel fuel, and is building a plant in Commerce City, Colo., that will produce 10 barrels a day of diesel fuel, he said.The "reactor" used in that plant is six feet in diameter, and doubling its diameter would up the fuel output to more than 2,500 barrels per day, he said. A series of reactors would be installed in an industrial plant, and shouldn't be that hard a technical feat, he said."The tougher nut to crack is the (plant) permitting and the financing," Koenig said. "Those are items that can really slow down a project. And, of course, any change in commodity price."As explained by Koenig and others, any CTL plant will be competing with traditional oil refineries that manufacture diesel fuel. If oil prices drop, then a CTL plant looks less attractive. That could pose a financing dilemma, because a $1 billion to $1.5 billion investment needs a steady income stream over many years to recoup the investment."The problem is, can you make it at a competitive price?" Koenig said. "If oil gets into (the $40 per barrel range), you have to look at these projects real hard." Oil was selling in the high 50s per barrel last week.The permitting is up to state regulators, but it faces potential challenges from landowners, environmental groups or both who aren't enthusiastic about coal development.The CTL plant has been advertised as environmentally friendly, but skeptics point out that it still produces carbon-dioxide - a major greenhouse gas - and still is being used to crank out diesel fuel, which, when burned, doesn't help global warming, either.The developers and the Schweitzer administration have said the plant is committed to "capturing" or "sequestering" its CO2 emissions - a technology not in wide use right now.Barrett said while hurdles lie ahead, the fact that partners have signed agreements to examine the Bull Mountain site is a "major step."They'll be doing what any project developer would do at this point, he said, such as scrutinizing the availability of the coal they'll need, laying out a schedule for obtaining a permit, looking at plant design and figuring out how the technology adapts to the site."They just have to take all of these elements in place and tighten them all down as they proceed," Barrett said. "At what point does that bear fruit? You just keep going until you're stopped. That's the way business deals work."Rep. Alan Olson, R-Roundup, a longtime promoter of the Bull Mountain coal mine and related developments, said local supporters have been waiting years for various plant proposals to take off. They're prepared to wait some more, he said."I think (this one) is the real deal," he said in a recent interview. "But it's going to take time. (We've) been in here for the long haul. Projects like this don't happen in 20 months."
This is one way to do it! ....... I guess?

Pembrokeshire guards its coal
Pembrokeshire County Council and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority are taking steps to safeguard the county's coal reserves.A new draft guide seeks to safeguard the area's coal reserves and ensure that any coal related developments consider the protection of the environment and the principles of sustainable development. The Authorities are seeking public comment on the draft guide and inviting the residents to complete a questionnaire.Anyone applying for planning permission for coal developments will have to show how they have taken account of the advice, or their planning application could be refused. Copies of the document and a questionnaire to help people comment on it are available on the County Council's website at and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority website at, or can be obtained by phoning the Council on 01437 764 551 or the National Park on 0845 345 7275. The consultation period runs until 5pm on Friday 8th December.
Pembrokeshire County Council

Web Link

Nuclear 'unaviable till coal price rises' Australia says

Matthew Warren18oct06
NUCLEAR power is too expensive to be developed in Australia and would only become viable through a massive spike in future coal and gas prices or a significant government-imposed impost on carbon emissions.Energy generators claim current nuclear technology is between 50 to 100 per cent more expensive than conventional coal-fired power, and faces a range of political and technical hurdles before the first nuclear plant could be built.
Opposition resources spokesman Martin Ferguson yesterday accused the Howard Government of playing wedge politics between sections of the Labor Party by suggesting Australia could start building nuclear plants within a decade.
John Howard this week deliberately put nuclear power back on the political agenda as a potential low greenhouse-emissions energy solution, a month before his taskforce is due to report its draft findings on nuclear energy, reprocessing and uranium mining.
Mr Ferguson told The Australian that nuclear power was a distraction from the Government's unwillingness to properly engage in the energy security debate.
"There's no doubt the Prime Minister's fancy with nuclear power has been consistent with his 11 years of wedge politics," he said. "If he's not careful he's going to wedge himself because nuclear power does not stack up in Australia."
At an international nuclear conference in Sydney yesterday, Energy Supply Association chief executive Brad Page said that while nuclear power might be part of Australia's future energy mix, it would require either a significant rise in coal and gas prices or a regulatory constraint on carbon to be viable.
The Howard Government has consistently opposed carbon regulation without Australia being part of a global scheme.
Mr Page said as well as overcoming relatively higher costs, an Australian nuclear industry would need the support of the community and governments, the development of a skilled nuclear workforce and an established regulatory regime. He said energy investors would also want to minimise the political risk of investing in an expensive and politically sensitive investment such as a nuclear power plant.
"The assets that our industry builds are fixed in nature, very long-lived, and they cost billions of dollars when you are building base-load (power generators)," he said. "You cannot afford for an investment of that size to become stranded for what is seemingly an arbitrary political act."
Mr Page said a more rational perspective on nuclear energy was that it was one of a number of higher-cost, low-emission technologies and might be available by about 2030 as part of a composite of energy solutions to climate change.
"You'd be a very brave person today to say there was a silver bullet to greenhouse and it was any individual technology," Mr Page said.
Globally there are about 30 new nuclear plants under construction and more than 200 planned or proposed, with the World Nuclear Association forecasting a doubling of uranium demand by 2020. Australia holds the world's largest uranium reserves.
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I bet they dont have near the NIMBY's (not in my back yard) we do here.

China to build new nuke power plant with USA dollars

BEIJING: China will build a new nuclear power plant in the central province of Hunan with an investment of 7.5 billion US dollars. The plant, designed with six nuclear reactors with installed capacity of six million kW, will be located at the Xiaomoshan Hill in Yueyang City, an official with the Hunan provincial department of commerce said. The Xiaomoshan Hill, about 184 km south of the Hunan provincial capital of Changsha, was picked as the plant site in April last year by the State Power Design Institute and other authorities concerned, a news agency reported. The project was approved by the State Development and Reform Commission, the top planning body, in November last year and a feasibility study covering 26 subjects was then started, the report said. So far 23 subjects in the feasibility have been completed and the remaining three are expected to be completed by the end of this month. A report on environment effect and another on security analysis will also be finished by the end of this month, the report said. The plant will be built in three phases and all the initial preparatory work has been going on smoothly, the official said. China's power consumption has increased rapidly as a result of fast economic growth. The electricity consumption in the first quarter this year reached 624.98 billion kWh, a year on year rise of 11.81 per cent. Currently, China has nine nuclear generators in commercial operation with a total capacity of about seven million kW. China has decided to develop nuclear power projects in its inland regions and plans to increase the installed capacity to 58 million kW by 2020.
.The Mine Safety
and Health Administration (MSHA)
this week kicked off its annual Winter
Alert campaign,

which is designed to
promote increased awareness among
mine operators and miners of the
hazards that lead to fatal accidents in
both underground and surface mines
due to the onset of colder weather.
MSHA’s Winter Alert campaign runs
annually from October through March.
This year’s theme of “Don’t Let Safety
Slip” reminds mine operators and
miners to be alert for environmental
hazards such as slippery walkways
and icy mine access roads, MSHA said
in an Oct. 25 press release. MSHA
personnel will distribute Winter Alert
posters, hard-hat stickers, and decals to
mine operators and miners displaying
MSHA’s safety practices for working
in underground and surface mines
during wintertime. More information
on the campaign is available at:
You tell them and you tell them!
The coal industry has been saying this for years.
The public is sometimes like a kid they have to learn the hard way I reckon.

New study warns nation facing electricity crisis
without quick action by Congress, states
A report released last week by the North
American Electric Reliability Council

(NERC) warned that the reliability of
the nation’s electricity grid will decrease
dramatically without immediate federal
and state action targeted at ensuring
adequate supplies are available to meet
an expected massive surge in electricity
In its first assessment of the electricity grid
since being established as the country’s
independent electric reliability overseer,
NERC cautioned that U.S. electricity
demand is set to spike 19 percent over the
next 10 years, while projecting only a 6
percent increase in supply and a 7 percent
increase in transmission lines, raising the
specter of widespread power shortages
and blackouts.
NERC’s 2006 Long Term Reliability
Assessment Report analyzes the adequacy
of the North American electricity supply
and transmission system through 2015
and includes 22 recommendations aimed
at rectifying generation, transmission,
fuel supply, and delivery and demand
response problems identified in the
report. Previously, NERC existed as a
voluntary industry organization but took
on the role of an independent Electric
Reliability Organization as mandated by
the Energy Policy Act of 2005. NERC’s
report projected that capacity margins
are expected to drop below minimum
target levels in the mid-Atlantic region,
the Midwest, New England, the Rocky
Mountain area and Texas, within the
next two to three years. The report
warned that other parts of the Northeast,
Southwest and Western U.S. will also fall
below minimum capacity levels before
“Our economy and quality of life are
more reliant on electricity ever y day,
yet the operation and planning for a
reliable and adequate electricity system
is becoming increasingly difficult,”

NERC President and CEO Rick Sergel
said in an Oct. 16 statement. These
convergent trends require industry and
government to work together to adopt a

longer-term, more coordinated planning
strategy. This report is intended to
provide a factual basis for implementing
such a strategy,” he said.
The report concluded that coal and gasfired
generating capacity additions will
account for all of the electricity resource
additions between now and 2015 and
emphasized the need to strengthen coal
and gas delivery infrastructures.
also said firming up gas supply and
deliver y contracts would help reduce
the potential for electricity shortages
due to fuel disruptions. Elsewhere, the
report called for the addition of power
generation facilities; new and upgraded
transmission facilities; more “demandside”
measures such as business and
consumer energy-efficiency programs;
and efforts to address the electric
industry’s aging workforce.
“A reliable and adequate electricity
system depends on a combination of
adequate generation and transmission,
diversified fuel sources, energy efficiency,
demand response, and other industrycustomer
programs,” said Sergel. “This
will require a concerted and cooperative
effort by industr y, government, and
A copy of NERC ’s report can be
accessed at:
Disclaimer: These articles do not always represent the actual views or opinions of the Virginia Mining Association Inc., unless the Director says so, its staff and associates and is wholly owned by the user who posted this content out there on the world wide web.
Coal 1 point, Nuke's zero!

Nuclear plan a drain on water supply Kevin Meade30oct06

NUCLEAR power plants could worsen the effects of drought by placing increased pressure on the nation's water resources.An independent study commissioned by the Queensland Government found that a nuclear power station would use 25 per cent more water than a coal-fired plant.
Addressing the New Zealand Labour Party conference in Rotorua yesterday, Queensland Premier Peter Beattie used the study's findings to attack John Howard's push to investigate the use of nuclear power in the future.
Mr Beattie said smarter and more environmentally friendly options were needed around the world to combat the effects of drought and climate change.
"At a time when our farming communities are hurting badly, it is folly for Mr Howard to be entertaining the thought of nuclear power stations in Queensland or anywhere else," he said.
"Many towns and shires in our state are struggling to get enough drinking water, let alone enough to satisfy the amount a nuclear station would need to guzzle."
The study focused on the coal-fired Stanwell power station in central Queensland. The plant produces up to 1400 megawatts of electricity a year and uses about 19,500 megalitres of water.
A nuclear power station producing the same output would need about 25,000 megalitres of water.
"That is the equivalent of at least an additional 5000 Olympic-sized swimming pools a year," Mr Beattie said. "It is water that we simply cannot afford when drought and climate change are drying up water supplies."
The study's findings fit neatly into the Premier's push for clean coal technology -- rather than nuclear power -- as a solution to global warming.
Queensland is enjoying a coal boom amid huge demand for the mineral to fire new power stations in China and steel plants in India.
Mr Howard established a review headed by former Telstra chief Ziggy Switkowski in June to investigate the future use of nuclear power.
Mr Beattie said a nuclear power station would need to have a strong connection to the electricity grid to address safety concerns with reliable transmission. The water supply would also have to be guaranteed.
"To meet these requirements, a nuclear power plant would have to be located close to the eastern seaboard," he said. "Where is Mr Howard planning to put it? Is it Townsville or Mackay or perhaps further down along the coastline on the Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast?
"We need to be smarter about the way we use our available resources. We need to be looking at less energy-dependent resources such as clean coal technology, geothermal energy and coal seam gas."
privacy terms © The Australian

Just in time for Halloween folks............... Be afraid, be afraid of Keanu ..The hollyweird folks are at it again. what is it that Grandmaw use to say about "good intentions"? Something about the road to h_ll is paved with them (good intentions).

The Green Left's Excellent AdventureBy Mark D.

October 30, 2006The evangelical Left, anxious to peel evangelicals away from conservative coalitions and voting habits, has latched onto global warming as its magical wedge issue. Several prominent evangelical Left personalities are hyping the new Keanu Reaves-narrated scare-film about a boiling planet called The Great Warming.
“We are living at the dawn of a new epoch,” warns the film’s website promo. “Year by year, degree by degree, Earth is growing warmer...a legacy of the Industrial Revolution, population growth, and our addiction to technology, speed and power.”
The “carbon free” movie warns viewers: “Just as other generations spoke of a Great Plague and a Great Depression, our children will be compelled to endure The Great Warming - and find a way to conquer its consequences.”
When some evangelicals flocked to movies about the Great End Times prophesied in Scripture, the Left mocked their harmless fascination. Now, Hollywood and the Green Left applauds as ostensibly more hip evangelicals, anxious to show the world how different they are, latch onto Global Warming as their more politically correct Apocalypse. Hollywood glitterati, Ted Turner, and the New York Times are not likely to lavish praise on another installment of the Left Behind series. But apocalyptic warnings about a planet that will burn up unless the United States repents of its carbon sins are sure to attract the Beautiful People.
On the Democratic Party’s new website to attract religious voters, former Ted Kennedy staffer Eric Sapp hails The Great Warming for bringing together the Christian Coalition, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Civil Rights movement, and liberal evangelist Tony Campolo. All of these entities, according to Sapp, had joined in a teleconference for the media to tout the film and its “Call to Action,” of which is a part.
Sapp also pointed to the “The Great Warming’s” “Call to Action,” whose endorsers include Ted Turner, religious left activist Jim Wallis, National Council of Churches chief Bob Edgar, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) stated clerk Cliff Kirkpatrick, Tikkun rabbi Michael Lerner, former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young, former Clinton staff John Podesta, evangelist Tony Campolo, Christianity Today editor David Neff, Islamic Society in America leader Sayyid Syeed, and performers Angelica Houston, Chevy Chase, Helen Hunt, Christopher Guest, Lucy Liu, Ed Begley, Alanis Morissette, and (of course) Keanu Reeves. Also signing was the new head of the nearly expired Christian Coalition, Joel Hunter.
Ted Turner is the only “philanthropist” listed as an endorser. It is likely that his philanthropy helped facilitate production of The Great Warming. According to Sapp, the movie’s "awareness campaign" will involve a Christian radio ad campaign to coincide with the national release of the movie on Friday, November 3. The initial release, Sapp boats, will be larger than even Al Gore's own global warming horror flick, An Inconvenient Truth. Sapp promises: “This is a great issue for Democrats and a unique opportunity for bridge-building with the evangelical community.”
Prominently featured in the movie is National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) Washington representative Richard Cizik, who has become a true believer in global warming. Cizik’s prominent activism on the cause caused the NAE’s board earlier this year to declare officially that NAE has no position on global warming. So, Cizik has not officially signed the “Call to Action.” But he evidently participated in the film’s teleconference for media, and an interview with Cizik is featured on the film’s website.
“I have had a conversion to this cause,” Cizik relates. “The climate change crisis that we believe is occurring is not something we can wait ten years, five years, even a year, to address. Climate change is real and human induced.” Harming the world through “environmental degradation is an offense against God,” he warns. Cizik dates his “conversion” to 2002, when evangelical left activist Jim Ball of the “What Would Jesus Drive” anti-SUV campaign “dragged” him to Oxford, England, for a global warming summit featuring scientist and Christian thinker John Houghton. “I had, as John Wesley would say, a ‘warming of my heart,’ Cizik recalls. “A conversion to a cause which I believe every Christian should be committed to.”
After his Oxford conversion, Cizik returned home, sold his gas guzzler, bought a Prius, and renewed his interest in recycling. He notes that evangelicals comprise 40-50 percent of the “Republican base” and Republican politicians, who “have stymied action on climate change, will “have to listen” if evangelicals become as passionate as Cizik is about climate change.
Promoters of The Great Warming are hoping that other evangelicals will have dramatic conversions to the global warming Cizik. No doubt, many of these new enthusiasts for the planet are full of passionate sincerity. But some seem to see acceptance of disastrous scenarios of global warming, fueled exclusively by human activity, as almost an article of faith, transcending need for logical argument. For them, it has become intrinsically a struggle between noble friends of the earth and wicked allies of the fossil fuels industry. They have adopted climate activism as a new crusade.
Evangelicals are more famous, or notorious, for preaching about the impending End Times. At least that old kind of preaching pointed listeners towards repentance...and God. This new mode of climate revivalism points evangelicals towards a very differently kind of imagined apocalypse, in which the solution is not divine intervention but increased government regulation, reduced standards of living, diminished national sovereignty, and enhanced powers for international bureaucracies. That Old Time Religion now looks more appealing, because it involves God.
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Here's how "Brazil did it and so can we" as Bill Clinton says, if the American public ever wakes up to the fact we are at war with a faceless enemy in a region where we currently get the majority of our oil. Bill is just not real clear about what they did and what we need to do. Such is politics!

Brazil Celebrates Energy Independence
Oct 29 2006 6:43PM

...but not because of ethanol.

Energy: Bill Clinton’s back, now touting tax hikes for ethanol to California voters. “If Brazil can do it, so can we,” he said, claiming an ethanol switch ended Brazil’s need for foreign oil. Once again, he’s telling whoppers.
Brazil did achieve independence from foreign oil all right. It happened this past April. But Clinton, true to form, doesn’t quite recall the critical point showing how it was done.
Here’s a clue for the semi-retired former president and policy wonk: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva didn’t celebrate the oil independence milestone out in an Amazon sugar field.
No, he smashed a champagne bottle on the spaceship-like deck of Brazil’s vast P-50 oil rig in the Albacora Leste field in the deep blue Atlantic. Why? Brazil’s oil independence had virtually nothing to do with its ethanol development. It came from drilling oil.
We could do that here in America too, except that the Democrats won’t let the “evil” oil industry exploit our domestic oil reserves in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge or other areas.

Disclaimer: This article is a blog post and does not represent the views or opinions of the Virginia Mining Association Inc. its staff and associates and is wholly owned by the user who posted this content.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

China dominates the mkt.

China supplies more CDM credits than any other country

China leads the world in supplying Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) credits with a 60 percent market share in the first nine months this year, according to a World Bank report.
The report authored by Karan Kapoor with the Sustainable Development Department (Africa) of the World Bank said China has accounted for 24 percent of the transactions in the world so far this year, with the average transaction representing the equivalent of 3.9 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
A total of 79 Chinese CDM projects had sold 384 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent to developed countries by Sept. 10, 2006, at an average price of 7.53 U.S. dollars.
The report predicted that China would continue to dominate the market, as a number of deals are under negotiation.
China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) had approved 135 CDM projects by Oct. 24, compared with about 50 in the middle of the year, said sources with the National Coordination Committee on Climate Change.
Kapoor attributed the increase of CDM projects to the overall investment climate, the size and growth of the economy and its structure.
"The more industrialized developing countries have greater opportunities for generating carbon credits," reads the report, saying that China's large emission reduction projects make it attractive.
The NDRC said in its latest report that China has great potential for CDM projects as there is ample opportunity in the country to improve energy efficiency and the nation is rich in renewable and clean energy resources.
Current projects in China include wind power, hydropower, landfill gas power generation, coal bed methane utilization, afforestation and HFC-23 decomposition.
Last year, China also held the lion's share -- 73 percent -- of the CDM credits market, followed by Brazil with 11 percent.
Under the Kyoto Protocol that came into effect in 2005, 38 industrialized countries must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels, during the period 2008 to 2012.
CDM is a market-based mechanism that allows these countries to fulfill their emission reduction obligations at much lower cost, by investing in clean energy projects in developing countries such as China.
According to analysts, China stands to earn billions of dollars from the CDM market.
Source: Xinhua
People's Daily Online ---
Who do you trust most? Nature or computer models? Or Congress maybe even?

Tree Ring Circus
Sunday , July 31, 2005
By Steven Milloy

Is it really possible to determine the change in global temperatures over the last 1,000 years by examining tree rings?
We may finally learn the answer, thanks to the efforts of Congressman Joe Barton, R-Texas -- who has had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at him by the global warming lobby in its fierce opposition to his recent inquiry.
On June 23, Rep. Barton, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, sent letters to the climate researchers responsible for developing the notorious “hockey stick” graph, which purports to show a dramatic rise in global temperatures during the 20th century after a millennium of supposedly little change in global temperature.
The hockey stick graph has been key weapon in the arsenal of the global warming alarmists in their efforts to scare the U.S. into signing the Kyoto Protocol and clamping down on greenhouse gas emissions and energy use.
The graph has been criticized for many reasons, including its reliance on dubious estimates of historic temperatures based on the size of tree rings. Not only is temperature merely one factor that contributes to tree growth (as evidenced by the ring size), but a 15th century portion of the hockey stick graph is based on tree ring measurements from a single tree.
Noting that “sharing data and research results is a basic tenet of open scientific inquiry” and that the hockey stick research was paid for with public funds, Chairman Barton asked Dr. Michael Mann of the University of Virginia for the computer code used to generate the hockey stick graph. Dr. Mann had previously refused to provide his computer code to other climate researchers who had requested it.
Dr. Mann apparently decided that he cannot withhold his data and computer code any longer from the public and agreed in a letter to post his data and computer code on the Internet -- but not without squealing about it first. Before Dr. Mann turned over his data, virtually the entire spectrum of global warming alarmists attacked Chairman Barton for requesting access to the data and code.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, long a proponent of global warming alarmism, chided Chairman Barton in a July 13 letter that Dr. Mann’s hockey stick had already been accepted by the United Nations’ global warming organization and that Congress ought not interfere with that process.
Although the AAAS apparently believes that the UN should be the final arbiter on scientific matters, it’s not at all clear that political organizations have any special insight into what constitutes scientific fact.
Dr. Ralph Ciccerone, the president of the National Academy of Sciences, wrote in a July 15 letter to Chairman Barton that “a focus on individual scientists can be intimidating.”
But congressional committees send out requests for information from private parties routinely. Moreover, I doubt that Dr. Mann felt “intimidated.” He has previously testified in person before Congress about global warming without complaining of any intimidation. It’s more likely that Dr. Mann doesn’t want to run the risk of more criticism directed at his hockey stick graph.
Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, the Chairman of the House Science Committee, melodramatically wrote Chairman Barton claiming that, “The only conceivable explanation for the investigation is to attempt to intimidate a prominent scientist and to have Congress put its thumbs on the scales of a scientific debate… The precedent your investigation sets is truly chilling.”
But Chairman Barton merely asked Dr. Mann to provide some information to Congress, including his computer code – something that Dr. Mann had previously refused to do when asked by private parties. Chairman Barton isn’t trying to influence scientific debate. He’s trying to make scientific debate possible -- a good thing in a free society. What’s chilling is Dr. Mann’s past stonewalling and utter refusal to permit the public to see how he concocted the hockey stick -- research that was paid for by the public and that is being used by global warming advocates to restrict the public’s access to affordable energy.
In his request for information, Barton had also asked Dr. Mann to provide records of the grants and other sources of funding that had financed his research, no doubt fueling suspicion about the intentions of Barton's investigation. But these records would have established that the research and methodology that Dr. Mann was refusing to share had been publicly funded.
The Washington Post seized upon this point when it chimed in on the debate with an editorial likening Chairman Barton’s request for information to a “witch hunt.” The Post added that “… to pretend that [Chairman Barton] is going to learn something useful by requesting data on 15th century tree rings is ludicrous; to demand decades worth of financial information from scientists who are not suspected of fraud is outrageous.”
Well, a scientist’s refusal to provide colleagues with his data and methodology is suspicious. Chairman Barton’s request for publicly funded scientific data concerning a major public policy issue isn’t ludicrous; but estimating global temperature data based on a single tree certainly is.
The global warmers are trying to demonize Chairman Barton to make him the bad guy out to harass and intimidate Dr. Mann, now a martyr for global warming hysteria. But it appears that just the opposite is the case.
For the sake of national energy policy and the global economy, let’s all thank Chairman Barton for his reasonable inquiry into the questionable hockey stick.
Steven Milloy publishes and, is adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and is the author of Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against Health Scares and Scams (Cato Institute, 2001).
Respond to the Writer

Friday, October 27, 2006

I just dont think anyone in the United States will allow one of these to be built near their homes.

'World needs 20 times as many nuke plants to avoid greenhouse catastrophe'

Sydney, Oct. 16(AP): The world needs 20 times more nuclear power plants to avert an environmental apocalypse that could kill billions of people due to global warming blamed on growing greenhouse gas emissions, a top nuclear advocate said on Monday.
The suggestion from John Ritch, the Director General of the World Nuclear Association, drew condemnation from environmental groups who say the risks of nuclear power _ including weapons proliferation _ far outweigh its potential benefits.
Speaking at a conference on nuclear energy in Sydney, Ritch said a 20-fold increase in the number of nuclear reactors globally was the minimum needed to meet the voracious demand for energy from fast-developing countries such as China and India.
In developed countries, around 1.4 billion people _ or 20 percent of the global population _ currently use about 80 percent of the world's energy supply, which comes mostly from burning coal and oil, which in turn produces greenhouses gases.
But China, India and other developing countries could soon outstrip the developed world in their greenhouse gas emissions, Ritch said.
``Scientists now warn, with ever increasing certainty, that greenhouse gas emissions, if continued at the present massive scale, will yield consequences that are, quite literally, apocalyptic,'' Ritch said.
Scientists predict an average increase in global temperatures of just a 2 C (4 F) could cause increasingly severe weather patterns, droughts, flooding, species extinction, rising sea levels, widespread disease and famine.
``If those predictions hold true, the combined effect would be the death of not just millions, but billions of people, and the destruction of much of civilization on all continents,'' Ritch said.
Currently, around 440 nuclear reactors produce around one-sixth of the world's electricity. At least 8,880 reactors producing up to 10,000 Gigawatt hours of energy were needed to prevent a global catastrophe, Ritch said.
Burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the air, which many scientists blame for global warming. Proponents of nuclear power say it is a cleaner alternative because it produces relatively little greenhouse gas emissions.
Critics, however, say the risk of nuclear proliferation by countries like North Korea and Iran, and the long-term problem of storing nuclear waste, undercut its viability as a safe alternative to fossil fuels.
``The uranium and nuclear power industries pose unacceptable risks of contributing to the proliferation of nuclear weapons,'' said Steve Shallhorn, the head of Greenpeace Australia. ``North Korea is the latest example that developing nuclear power for 'peaceful purposes' just cannot be guaranteed.''
Greenpeace says more than 20 of the 60 countries that have nuclear power or research centers have used those facilities for covert weapons research.
Environmental groups say renewable energy sources _ such wind and solar power _ are a safer, more sustainable long-term solution to global warming.
``We should be backing the real, clean energy solutions that we have,'' said Friends of the Earth anti-nuclear campaigner Jim Green. ``Climate change can be tackled using renewable energy such as solar and wind and by introducing energy efficiency measures.''
Meanwhile, Australia's Prime Minister John Howard threw his support behind the development of a nuclear power facility in his country.
Australia has 40 percent of the world's known uranium deposits, but has only one nuclear reactor for medical research purposes.
``Those who say they are in favor of doing something about global warming but turn their faces against considering nuclear power are unreal,'' Howard said. ``If we're serious about having a debate about global warming ... we have got to be willing to consider the nuclear option.''
Sci. & Tech.

What other countries are doing!

Russia Investing in Chinese Power Plants

© 2006 The Associated Press
BEIJING — Chinese and Russian companies plan to invest $10 billion in new power plants to supply northeastern China's growing energy needs, a government newspaper said Thursday.
The plants are to be built along China's northeastern border with Russia over the next five years and fueled with coal imported from Siberia, the China Daily said.
China is building dozens of power plants to cope with rising energy demands amid an economic boom. Areas throughout the country have suffered blackouts over the past four years as factories, homes, shopping malls and others compete for supplies.
The partners in the project are China's State Grid Corp. and the Russian power monopoly Unified Energy System, the report said, citing a statement by State Grid, China's biggest power company.
The project will have a total annual generating output of 60 billion kilowatt-hours, twice the current power output of Russia's Far East, the newspaper said.
It didn't give any other financial details or say where the plants would be located.
State Grid also plans to import power from generating stations that it plans to build in Mongolia, which borders China to the north, and Kazakhstan in Central Asia, the China Daily said.
"China's electricity demand will continue its fast growth in the coming years," Bai Jianhua, a senior analyst at the government's State Power Economic Research Center, was quoted as saying.
This is just the beginning of a four-wheeler boom in our region. There are problems associated with liability and stealing from people on these four wheelers. We in the mining industry need to get on board and locate some areas that are suitable for these machines as this problem is not going away. We need to involve local governments and come up with some trails. These talks are currently underay with VMA and local governments.

Harlan Ky 4-wheeler Second Fall Crawl twice as successful

By DEANNA LEE-SHERMAN - Staff WriterMonday, October 9, 2006 2:21 AM EDT
This year's second annual Fall Crawl did just what organizers of the event hoped it would: It brought twice as many off-road enthusiasts as last year's.Saturday's daylong event at the Verda field saw between 1,500 and 1,600 visitors, locals and out-of-towners, said Preston McLain, president of the Harlan County Ridge Runners, an all-terrain vehicle club of about 800 members.The club is in charge of the event, which gained two national sponsors in its second year. That, along with effective advertising of the county's abundant riding trails at Black Mountain Recreational Park, is a start to what can “explode” in Harlan County, McLain said.And a world record for the longest parade in June that has been recorded in the files of the Guinness World Records in London, England, gave this year's Fall Crawl a significant push, organizers have said. The crowds came once again to the Verda field, despite the 42nd annual Swappin' Meetin' in Cumberland that also drew a large crowd Saturday.It's just what the Ridge Runners and others throughout the county who've had a hand in helping to promote adventure tourism were hoping to see.The success of this year's Fall Crawl, complete with a drag race, sled pool and mud bog race, as well as a motor cross for children, could lead to an outdoors exposition next year, McLain said.

“I'm tickled to death with the turnout we had,” he said, adding that the county came together once again, much like in June, to sell baked goods, T-shirts and crafts.“It's just going to make it bigger next year,” he said.McLain said one of this year's national sponsors, ATV Direct, a retail accessories company in Martin, was surprised with how well the event was organized.“They said this is the best event to come to, to already be organized when they got here,” he said.

First-place trophies, sponsored by ATV Direct, were available for winners in each of the day's activities and ribbons were distributed to second- and third-place finishers. But an unscheduled event drew just as much attention.About a dozen women volunteered to race through the knee-high mud at the field for a cash prize of $165, with a little more than $100 collected by the crowd. The Ridge Runners put up another $50 to add to the pot of cash. Amanda Cox, of Catrons Creek, won the prize.“It could be an added event next year,” McLain laughed.Entertainment was provided throughout the day by a country/bluegrass band known as Hillbillies Having Fun. This year's other national sponsor was Ramsey Winch, another ATV accessories company.Art and Glenna Durkie, of Monticello, came to Saturday's event with a group of about 10. Art Durkie said he learned of the Fall Crawl through “word of mouth.” The couple traveled from Monticello on Friday and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. They were just two of many who stayed overnight at local motels and hotels.“There are a lot of nice places to ride up in the mountains. I wish they had something like this in Monticello. It brings in people and helps out the economy,” Art Durkie said.Impressed with this year's event and the county's trails, he said what many first-time visitors and off-road enthusiasts have said of Harlan County.“Oh yeah, we'll be back


Coal-to-liquid plant in Montana to use Rentech technology

Denver firm owns patent for converting gas into clean diesel
Barry Gutierrez © News At Rentech's research and development laboratory in Denver on Wednesday, facilities engineer Eli Philipp, left, and Mark Koenig, director of investor relations, stand outside the company's Fischer-Tropsch reactor.
By Gargi Chakrabarty, Rocky Mountain News October 5, 2006
Montana is set to have one of the nation's first coal-to-liquids energy plant.
And Colorado will play an important part.
The $1.3 billion project will use a patented technology owned by Denver-based Rentech to convert gas - squeezed out of coal - into ultraclean diesel, naphtha and jet fuel.
Announcing the plant earlier this week, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer said, "I'm very excited about this one."
Rentech will earn a licensing fee from the project.
DKRW Advanced Fuels, Arch Coal Inc. and Bull Mountain Cos. are the developers of the project at the Bull Mountain mine 14 miles south of Roundup, in central Montana.
"Our licensing fee and royalties are fixed, based on formulaƩ," said Mark Koenig, Rentech's director of investor relations.
He declined to reveal details of the formulas.
The company is building a $20 million pilot plant in Commerce City, which will demonstrate the patented technology.
Rentech signed a master license agreement with DKRW Advanced Fuels earlier this year, which allows DKRW to use Rentech's Fischer-Tropsch coal-to-liquids technology in projects that produce up to 500,000 barrels of liquids per day.
DKRW is using the technology to build the previously announced Medicine Bow coal-to-liquid facility in Wyoming. That facility will produce 10,000 barrels of liquid per day but has the option to expand to 40,000 barrels per day.
Rentech also is considering a plant in Natchez, Miss.
Coal producer Peabody is looking to build two more, in Montana and in Illinois, using Rentech's technology.
The Bull Mountain mine project would produce 22,000 barrels of diesel fuel per day and use the rest of the gas to generate about 300 megawatts of electricity.
About two-thirds of the electricity would be needed for coal-to- liquid operations, and the remainder would be surplus, said John Baugues Jr. of Bull Mountain Cos.
Schweitzer said the project will capitalize on Montana's coal resources and strengthen the economy in a struggling area of the state.
An economic analysis prepared by a researcher at Montana State University-Billings projected the equivalent of 1,764 full-time jobs from operation of the plant and related work such as mining and rail transportation of coal. Annual wages and benefits for those jobs are projected at $194 million.
General Electric will provide the technology to convert the coal into synthetic gas. or 303-954-2976. News wire services contributed to this report.
Wildlife is major polluter? As I have said before I want to see the gov agency person put that diaper on that Bobcat.
Wildlife Waste Is Major Water Polluter, Studies Say
By David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post Staff WriterFriday, September 29, 2006; Page A01
Does a bear leave its waste in the woods?
Of course. So do geese, deer, muskrats, raccoons and other wild animals. And now, such states as Virginia and Maryland have determined that this plays a significant role in water pollution.
Scientists have run high-tech tests on harmful bacteria in local rivers and streams and found that many of the germs -- and in the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, a majority of them-- come from wildlife dung. The strange proposition that nature is apparently polluting itself has created a serious conundrum for government officials charged with cleaning up the rivers.
Part of the problem lies with the unnaturally high populations of deer, geese and raccoons living in modern suburbs and depositing their waste there. But officials say it would be nearly impossible, and wildly unpopular, to kill or relocate enough animals to make a dent in even that segment of the pollution.
That leaves scientists and environmentalists struggling with a more fundamental question: How clean should we expect nature to be? In certain cases, they say, the water standards themselves might be flawed, if they appear to forbid something as natural as wild animals leaving their dung in the woods.
"You need to go back and say, 'Maybe the standards aren't exactly right' if wildlife are causing the problem," said Thomas Henry, an Environmental Protection Agency official who works on water pollution in the mid-Atlantic.
The story of how wild animals -- which usually are considered the victims in environmental dramas -- came to be cast as villains begins with the EPA's limits on bacteria levels in streams. Bacteria such as E. coli and other fecal coliform, which are found in both human and animal waste, can cause sickness on their own, and they can serve as a warning that other, even nastier pathogens might also be present.
In the Washington area, violations of the bacteria standards have put more than two dozen streams, including the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, on the federal "impaired waters" list. That means they do not meet the ideal conditions for swimming and need cleaning up.
So who -- or what -- is responsible for the contamination? The answer has become much clearer in the past five or so years, because of high-tech tests sponsored by states that pinpoint from which animal a particular sample of bacteria came.
In this area, some of what these surveys have found is not surprising. One recent study by a Virginia Tech team found that humans are responsible for 24 percent of the bacteria in the Anacostia and 16 percent of the Potomac's, whether the source is a broken septic tank or the District's large sewage overflows during heavy rains. Livestock were also a major problem around the area -- responsible for 10 percent of the Potomac's bacteria, for instance -- because their manure washes out of pastures and the farm fields where it is spread as fertilizer.
Then there are nature's own polluters.
In the Potomac and the Anacostia, for instance, more than half of the bacteria in the streams came from wild creatures. EPA documents show that similar problems were found in Maryland, where wildlife were more of a problem than humans and livestock combined in the Magothy River, and in Northern Virginia tributaries such as Accotink Creek, where geese were responsible for 24 percent of bacteria, as opposed to 20 percent attributable to people.
"Wildlife consistently came up as being . . . a major player," said Peter Gold, an environmental scientist for the EPA.
To some scientists, this makes perfect sense. They point out that a few wild animals have managed to thrive in the environments that humans create: Deer feast on suburban flowers; raccoons raid backyard pet-food bowls. Nonmigratory Canada geese, descended in part from geese brought to this area as live hunting decoys, have fallen so much in love with golf courses and groomed city parks that their East Coast population now stands at 1.1 million.
It could be the ultimate irony of people's impact on nature that the entire system has changed so radically that wild animals now degrade their own environment. More animals means more bacteria-laden waste. Some of that is swept by storm water into rivers and streams.
Some of the waste is deposited directly into the currents.
"They're pooping in the water," said Chuck Frederickson, an environmentalist who is keeper of the James River, gazing at geese slurping algae off river rocks one recent day. He said the goose population is an obstacle to improving the river: "Do we want less bacteria in the water, or do we want geese around?"
But it is one thing to blame wild animals for pollution and another to figure out how to get them to stop.
Scientists have actually run the numbers for many local streams, using mathematical models to estimate how much the bacteria from wildlife dung needs to be reduced to meet the standards.
But these calculations, required by EPA rules, often have an oddball quality: In the Willis River in central Virginia, for instance, scientists created highly specific estimations of the population density for various animal species (.07 raccoons per acre, for example, and 2.751 muskrats), then factored in the number of grams of waste each animal produces a day (450 grams per raccoon, 100 per muskrat).
Eventually, they determined that there needed to be an 83 percent reduction in the amount of waste that wildlife left directly in streams.
But even the scientists who make these determinations say such a large reduction is unlikely. Although Maryland does kill a few hundred geese annually to reduce water pollution, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last month relaxed its rules to make it easier to kill geese for public-health reasons, no officials in this area have plans to kill or remove wildlife on a scale large enough to make a difference to the waterways.
"When you run the model, that's what you come up with, but it's unrealistic to expect that anything like that is going to happen," said Charles Hagedorn, a professor at Virginia Tech who has worked on pollution surveys for the state over the past 15 years. "That's the conundrum: What do you do?"
Some environmentalists have an answer: Just stop worrying about the wildlife.
"If you were here when Captain John Smith rode up the Anacostia River [in 1608], and you tested the water, it would probably have a good bit of coliform in it" because of wildlife, said Robert Boone, president of an environmental group called the Anacostia Watershed Society.
Boone said he has heard officials from sewage-treatment authorities bring up the fact that wildlife, more than the human waste they treat, is a major contributor to the bacteria problem.
"That's a total out for not doing anything" to reduce man-made pollution, Boone said. "Just ignore the wildlife and deal with the leaking sewer pipes."
Now, the EPA and state agencies seem to be coming to a similar conclusion. In interviews and in official documents, they say they're considering holding some streams to different standards, expecting that not every stream can be made safe for swimming. In such cases, the states would plan to reduce bacteria from human sources as much as possible and then reassess to see whether some level of bacteria from wildlife is natural.
But, for now, no such reassessments have been made in this area. Maryland officials seem especially unwilling to do so in the near future, fearing how the public would react to such a lowering of the bar.
So, on paper at least, wild animals are still catching blame -- to a reaction of disbelief from some animal advocates.
"Has anybody studied about fish?" quipped David Feld, national program director for a Falls Church-based group called GeesePeace, which seeks nonlethal ways of controlling goose populations. "How much fish contribute?"