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Clean coal used to mean less dust and dirt. Coal was never clean. The concept of clean coal has evolved but that reality hasn't

Clean coal was all about no dirt or dust back in 1921

“…The public wants coal and must have it.”   Wall Street Journal. Editorial excerpt: September 30, 1902 (from ‘A Journal Sampler,’ July 8, 2014.) It was a time of big industrial growth in big, big cities like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis, as coal fed the maw of uber expansion. In fact, the latter part of the nineteenth century, provided…

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Waterkeeper Alliance and the Cape Fear Riverkeeper documented an area of heavy seepage flowing from this barren area at the north end of the 1963 coal ash impoundment directly into the Cape Fear River.

Coal Ash Ponds: a Slurry of Problems Nationwide

“Do you know what your coal ash pond is doing tonight?” EarthJustice, via the Freedom of Information Act, pressured the EPA back in 2012 to release the locations of hundreds of previously unknown coal ash dump sites. The latest tally puts the number at nearly 1,400 nationwide. Coal ash. It sounds benign – even perhaps recyclable – something you might…

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More renewable energy development will be one result from the new US rules for power plant emissions

 Implications of the New US Rules Curbing Power Plant Emissions

The new rules curbing power plant emissions in the U.S. will have far reaching impacts both within the U.S. and around the world.  Curbing emissions from power plants is part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan which he announced in 2013. Last September, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed standards to curb U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) from new power plants. On June 2nd of this…

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Coal from the Powder River Basin is sold to China at below market value - costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars

Warren Buffett’s Coal Gambit and the China Connection

I wanted to see an actual coal train, its open cars heaped with fossil fuel, and to inhale a wave of coal dust as the train meandered past me. But the closest I came to any of that was near a filling station in Washington state’s Nooksack valley. Standing at the pump, I soon heard the diesels thrumming nearby as…

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17 foundations are divesting their holdings away from dirty energy companies. Will the fossil fuel divestment movement grow to have real impact in our energy economy?

17 Foundations Divest from Fossil Fuels

Seventeen U.S. nonprofit grantmaking charities have announced they are divesting from fossil fuel investments.  For those new to this world, foundations are typically funded by endowments created by a benefactor or family legacy.  These funds are invested, usually in a combination of mutual funds, stocks, hedge funds and bonds.  The foundations distribute a portion of the profits as grants and…

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USCO2Emissions2013

An Uptick in US Greenhouse Gas Emissions as Utilities Use More Coal

Natural gas prices coming off their lows prompted utilities to burn more coal, which in turn led to the first increase in U.S. carbon emissions in three years. Longer term, US greenhouse gas emissions are 10% or more below 2005 levels, a downward trend the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts will continue.

Energy and climate scientists call for a coal moratorium, saying unabated coal is the road to climate catastrophe

Energy, Climate Scientists Call for a Moratorium on Coal-Fired Power Plants

An international group of 27 prominent energy and climate scientists are calling for a moratorium on construction of new coal-fired power plants, a policy they say has become a global imperative if “climate catastrophe” is to be avoided this century. Their call comes amid renewed efforts by coal and power utility lobbies “to portray ‘high efficiency low emissions coal combustion’…

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