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Coal

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  1. "Clean Coal" or Coal Gasification
  2. Algae for Carbon Sequestration
  3. Carbon Sequestration
  4. Coal Gasification
  5. Conversion from Coal Power to Biomass
News
  1. -01-11-09 Stimulus Debate on "Clean Coal" (U.S. News)
      "Steven Chu, President-elect Barack Obama's pick for energy secretary, met this week with several Illinois lawmakers to hear their pitch for a stimulus-related project: the revival of a $1.9 billion advanced coal plant in Mattoon, Ill. The project had its funding revoked last year by the Bush administration, which at the time cited "restructuring" as the cause. Chu, according to one congressional aide, listened intently during the meeting but made no promises about restoring the project, which is arguably the world's most ambitious 'clean coal' effort, at least in conception." 01-09

  2. -04-18-08 Carbon Reduction in Coal (Time.com)
      "Coal plants usually have a 50-year operational life, which means that fossil fuels will be with us for a long time. Unless we can figure out a way to take carbon out of coal — the way we've managed to clean other pollutants, like acid rain-causing sulfur dioxide, using scrubbers —we'll never beat climate change. Ergo Exergy wants to mitigate the damage. The company's underground coal gasification technology burns coal into gas directly in its underground seams, which saves the environmental cost of mining." 04-08

  3. -05-10-10 Which Pollutes More: Vehicles or Coal-Fired Power Plants? (UCSUSA.org)
      "With this in mind, a passenger car or truck today is typically responsible for around 7.4 tons of CO2 a year. If you compare that to a typical, existing 600 megawatt coal plant, producing 5.2 million tons of CO2 pollution a year, then, in one year, that plant is producing as much global warming pollution as around 700,000 cars." 05-10

  4. -11-13-08 A Freeze on New U.S. Coal Plants? (Time.com)
      "Environmentalists have long known that when it comes to climate change, coal will be a dealbreaker. The carbon-intensive fossil fuel provides nearly half of the United States' electricity, and is responsible for some 30% of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. That's just due to the coal plants already operating — as the U.S. looks to expand its energy supply to meet rising demand in the future, over 100 coal plants are in various stages of development around the country. If those plants are built without the means to capture and sequester underground the carbon they emit — and it's far from clear that such technology will be commercially viable in the near-term — our ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avert climate change will be meaningless." 11-08

  5. -11-13-08 Coal Power Plants May Have to Limit Emissions (USA Today)
      "About 100 proposed coal-fired power plants in the USA may be required to limit their greenhouse gas emissions after the Environmental Protection Agency was blocked Thursday from issuing a permit for a proposed Utah plant without addressing the issue of global warming." 11-08

  6. -12-13-08 First "Clean" Coal Plant? (ABC News)
      "Earlier this month, the world's first coal-fired power plant designed to capture and store carbon dioxide that it produces began operations in Spremberg [Germany]. The pilot plant has been built at a power station that, under Communist rule last century, used to belch out clouds of sulfurous smoke from burning brown coal, or lignite. 'Industrial history is being written,' says Tuomo Hatakka, chair of the European board of Vattenfall, the Swedish power company behind the new plant. Indeed, the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is seen by many experts as essential to help the world cut carbon-dioxide emissions in coal-fired power stations." 12-08

  7. -How Administration's Climate Plan Accommodates Some States (ThinkProgress.org)
      "On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency released its proposed rule to limit the amount of carbon pollution that the nation’s 491 existing power plants can emit into the atmosphere. These plants, which are responsible for about 40 percent of U.S. carbon emissions, will be required to reduce emissions 25 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 through a number of different means, including energy efficiency and renewable energy capacity building. The plants are scattered across the country, and the EPA made a point of giving states widely different targets based on their current emissions profiles." 06-14

  8. Coal Gasification (PopularMechanics.com)
      "Here's how that process, known as the Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC), converts coal into synthetic gas and energy-a 20-percent more efficient makeover of the dirty ore you may soon find only in a naughty kid's stocking:" 04-08

Papers
  1. -01 Global Use of Coal Will Be "Game Over" for the Climate (Time.com)
      "Coal prices in the U.S. are falling and coal plants are being retired. Most of that change is being driven by what analysts refer to as 'market conditions'—otherwise known as shale gas and fracking, which has driven prices for natural gas down, down, down. That’s encouraged utilities to phase out coal in favor of cleaner natural gas—a transition that has been accelerated by federal environmental regulations that will increasingly limit the sort of air pollution associated with old coal plants."

      "But if the future of coal is looking dim in the U.S. with cheap natural gas and a Democrat in the White House, it’s as bright as a steel furnace in much of the rest of the world. In 2010 the global coal trade rose by 13.4%, reaching 1.08 billion metric tons. In a new report, the World Resources Institute (WRI) estimates that nearly 1,200 new coal plants are at least in the planning stages worldwide. Though the projects are spread across the globe, more than 3/4 of the new plants are set to be built in India and China. If every one of those plants were to be built and activated, it would add 1.4 million MW of coal-fired electricity capacity to the global grid. Since coal is already the single biggest contributor to man-made global warming, an unchecked global coal building spree really would be game over for the climate—no matter what happens in the U.S." 11-12

  2. -01 Obama Administration Halts Coal Leases on Public Lands (ThinkProgress.org)
      "According to a fact sheet released by the Department of Interior, the review will assess these currently insufficient royalty rates and 'ensure the sale of these public resources results in a fair return to the American taxpayers.' "

      "Not only is the real cost of coal not currently accounted for in its royalties, but the environmental impacts from coal, including its contribution to climate change, also impose a cost to the American public. Currently, the combustion of coal from federal lands accounts for more than 57 percent of all emissions from fossil fuel production on federal lands. Air and water pollution from strip mining and failed mine reclamation also add to coal’s heavy environmental cost. The review will take into account climate change, environmental, and public health impacts of the coal program." 01-16

  3. -05-22-06 Insufficient Oxygen for Workers in Coal Coal Mines (MSNBC News)
      "Autopsy findings indicating that three of five eastern Kentucky coal miners killed in an explosion died of carbon monoxide poisoning infuriated several family members still mourning their deaths." 05-06

  4. -A Move Away from Coal (New York Times)
      "The Tennessee Valley Authority sharply accelerated a shift away from coal as an energy source on Thursday, saying it would shut down eight electricity-generating units that together will burn nearly a fifth of its coal this year." 11-13

  5. -Coal Companies Turn to Waste Wood to Meet Emission Standards (New York Times)
      "Even as the Environmental Protection Agency considers requiring existing coal-fired power plants to cut their carbon dioxide output, some utilities have started to use a decidedly low-tech additive that accomplishes that goal: wood."

      "Minnesota Power, which once generated almost all of its power from coal and is now trying to convert to one-third renewables and one-third natural gas, found that co-firing with wood was a quick way to move an old plant partly to the renewable category."

      " 'We’re finding an emissions improvement benefit, and an economic benefit,' because the wood is cheaper than coal, said Allan S. Rudeck Jr., Minnesota Power’s vice president for strategy and planning. One boiler at the company’s Rapids Energy Center, near Grand Rapids, Minn., has run at up to 90 percent wood." 11-13

  6. -Coal Gives One More Try (Grist.org)
      "This is the place where a coal company backed by a wealthy Texas family — one whose fabled legacy of gambling on energy markets extends back to a game of cards with an oil rig at stake — wants to sink a 300-foot-deep coal mine over 30 square miles of wetlands and forest. The $700 million project, commonly called the Chuitna mine, currently masquerades under the guise of a tiny Alaskan coal company called PacRim. If the project goes forward, it would all but obliterate Tyonek tribe’s fishing and hunting grounds." 11-16

  7. -Dirty Coal Plants Closing (Science.Time.com)
      "Altogether 106 coal plants have been moved towards premature retirement since the beginning of 2010, the result of tougher federal air pollution regulations and a determined campaign by environmental groups like the Sierra Club to organize local opposition to plants. The shift away from coal—by far the biggest single cause of man-made global warming and a major source of traditional air pollutants—is a signature success for the environmental movement at a time when global action on climate change has been hard to come by. 'City by city, town by town, communities are standing up and saying no to coal, and saying yes to clean energy,' wrote Mary Anne Hitt, the director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, in the Huffington Post. “This milestone demonstrates that a shift is well underway across the country, and we will not power our future with the energy sources of the 19th century." 09-12

  8. -Largest U.S. Coal Producers and Destinations (U.S. Energy Information Administration)
      Provides a breakdown of the largest coal producers and destinations and coal news.

  9. -Map of U.S. Energy Sources (U.S. Energy Information Administration)
      Provides a breakdown of energy sources within the United States. Includes company or agency providing the energy.

  10. -New Analysis Shows Coal May Have a Short Life Left (ABC News)
      "Vast coal seams dozens of feet thick that lie beneath the rolling hills of the Northern Plains once appeared almost limitless, fueling boasts that domestic reserves were sufficient to power the U.S. for centuries."

      "But an exhaustive government analysis says that at current prices and mining rates the country's largest coal reserves, located along the Montana-Wyoming border, will be tapped out in just a few decades."

      "The finding by the U.S. Geological Survey upends conventional wisdom on the lifespan for the nation's top coal-producing region, the Powder River Basin. It also reflects the changing economic realities for companies seeking to profit off extracting the fuel as mining costs rise, coal prices fall and political pressure grows over coal's contribution to climate change." 02-16

  11. -Obama Administration Pushes "Clean Coal"(Truth-Out)
      "After years of delays and cost increases, one of the most expensive coal-burning power plants ever built in the United States is set to be up and running in Kemper County, Mississippi, sometime next year. Outfitted with technology promoted by the Obama administration to fight climate change, the Kemper plant will capture climate-warming carbon emissions before they hit the atmosphere." 10-14

  12. -Powder River Basin to Inject 16.9 Billion Tons of CO2 in the Atmosphere (Truth-Out)
      "The poster child of this corrupt fiasco is the Powder River Basin (PRB) in eastern Wyoming and Montana. The PRB accounts for 42 percent of US coal production and the federal government owns 80 percent of PRB coal reserves. Despite the obvious link between PRB coal and the climate crisis, the Department of Interior (through the BLM) is pushing to greatly expand PRB coal production. The BLM is in the process of issuing 16 new coal leases in the PBR, containing 10.2 billion tons of coal. If these plans are implemented, it will inject 16.9 billion additional metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere." 05-15

  13. -Study: Conversion of a Coal-Fired Power Station to Biomass Pyrolysis (BioEnergy2020.eu) star
      This scientific study shows that "cheap biomass can be used for co-firing in existing fossil fuel power stations without the danger of corrosion, deposition, and emission problems." 06-14

  14. -Study: Switch from Coal to Natural Gas Questioned (ScienceMag.org)
      "Natural gas (NG) is a potential “bridge fuel” during transition to a decarbonized energy system: It emits less carbon dioxide during combustion than other fossil fuels and can be used in many industries. However, because of the high global warming potential of methane (CH4, the major component of NG), climate benefits from NG use depend on system leakage rates. Some recent estimates of leakage have challenged the benefits of switching from coal to NG, a large near-term greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction opportunity (1–3). Also, global atmospheric CH4 concentrations are on the rise, with the causes still poorly understood (4)." 02-14

  15. -Supreme Court Backs Limits on Cross-State Pollution (Washington Post)
      "The Supreme Court on Tuesday resurrected Environmental Protection Agency rules targeting air pollution that drifts across state borders, handing a victory to the Obama administration on one of its major environmental efforts."

      "The agency for years, under two administrations, has struggled to carry out a directive under the federal Clean Air Act to protect downwind states from pollution generated in other states, mostly from coal-fired power plants." 04-14

  16. -Supreme Court Blocked Rule to Reduce Carbon Dioxide (ABC News)
      "For the long-suffering communities that depend on coal, last week's Supreme Court ruling was seen as a rare victory. The justices ruled 5-4 Tuesday to freeze the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to reduce the nation's carbon-dioxide emissions 32 percent by 2030 while legal challenges against the regulations are pending." 02-16

  17. -What Do We Do With Abandoned Coal-Fired Power Plants? (Grist.org)
      "About 13 gigawatts worth of coal-fired power plants are closing this year to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule." 05-15

  18. A Billion Gallons of Toxic Sludge from Coal Plant Site (CNN News)
      "The sludge, a byproduct of the ash from coal combustion, was contained at a retention site at the Tennessee Valley Authority's power plant in Kingston, about 40 miles east of Knoxville."

      "Environmental advocates say the ash contains concentrated levels of mercury and arsenic."

      "The plant sits on a tributary of the Tennessee River called the Clinch River. At least 300 acres of land has been coated by the sludge -- a bigger area than the Exxon Valdez oil spill." 12-08

  19. Annual Coal Report 2012 (U.S. Energy Information Agency)
      "The Annual Coal Report (ACR) provides annual data on U.S. coal production, prices, recoverable reserves, employment, productivity, productive capacity, consumption, and stocks." 07-13

  20. Biochar for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) at Power Plants (Carbonscape.com)
      "Carbonscape’s sequestered charcoal negates the drawbacks posed by traditional approaches of carbon capture and storage (CCS) techniques which include utilizing saline aquifers, existing oil and gas fields and unused coal seams." 03-12

  21. Bush Administration Backs Off of Clean Coal Project (Christian Science Monitor)
      "Prospects for nearly emissions-free coal power in the United States have dimmed in the wake of the US Department of Energy's decision to pull the plug on a 'clean coal' demonstration plant called FutureGen, observers say."

      "Under the deal, 13 partners – including China, Australia, Britain, and Germany – would have paid 26 percent of the cost with the DOE paying 74 percent. A key part of FuturGen was the potential environmental impact, some environmentalists say because China's coal-fired power plants are among the largest emitters of greenhouse gases." 02-08

  22. Capturing Carbon (Time.com)
      "Even before the federal government creates a national cap — which is generally considered inevitable — the economy will need a bridge, economic nudges, so that the private sector can test carbon capture and storage before scaling it up. More than 30 states are looking at legislation that would give carbon storage technology a boost. Some call for comprehensive studies of the technology, while in Wyoming — one of several states identified as having underground carbon storage potential — laws are already being written to address questions about ownership of and liability for the underground CO2 vaults. These laws will help U.S. "geo-bottling" incubate while the federal government catches up to state and private efforts. At Duke University's Climate Change Policy Partnership, for example, researchers are modeling optimal routes for gas pipelines, based on engineering, social and environmental factors, to move the CO2 from plant to storage site." 04-08

  23. China Moves toward Clean Coal Energy (Cernet.edu.cn)
      "Experts predict that China can develop its own coal fueled gasification technology with its own intellectual property rights in five years. The end product is said to be 50 percent cheaper than similar international products.”

      "Meanwhile, the China Huaneng Group, the country's largest coal-fueled power generator, has joined a coalition of global electric utilities and coal companies that is to design, construct and operate the world's first 'zero-emission' coal-fueled power plant." 03-12

  24. Clean Coal Cancelled (Time.com)
      " 'The reason why projects like these are fiscally challenged is because the incentives available to them fall short and the rules of the road in terms of emissions standards aren't clear,' Clean Air Task Force Carbon Storage Development Coordinator Kurt Waltzer said." 07-11

  25. Co-Production of Power and Biochar (RenewableEnergyWorld.com)
      "A nascent biochar industry is emerging in connection with biomass power technologies that coproduce electricity and char via gasification and pyrolysis." 08-13

  26. Coal Exports Bring No Bonus to U.S. Taxpayers (NBC News)
      "U.S. miners who are booking big profits on coal sales to Asia are enjoying an accounting windfall to boot."

      "By valuing coal at low domestic prices rather than the much higher price fetched overseas, coal producers can dodge the larger royalty payout when mining federal land."

      "The practice stands to pad the bottom line for the mining sector if Asian exports surge in coming years as the industry hopes, a Reuters investigation has found."

      "...Asian economies rely on coal to sustain growth, so the ton worth about $13 near the Powder River Basin mines last year fetched roughly 10 times that in China." 12-12

  27. Coal Facts (PBS.org)
      Provides basic facts about coal. The United States has 25% of the world's known supply; China and India are the next two largest owners of coal supply. The use of coal is increasing, rapidly, even though it is the largest known cause of CO 2 in the air. 05-09

  28. Coal Plants Are Shutting Down (FreeEnterprise.com)
      "When it comes to coal-fired power plants, 2013 is much like 2012. EPA regulations are playing a key role in the closure of a number of Georgia power plants." 01-13

  29. Coal Power Plants and Pollution (Sierra Club)
      "In the US today, coal is the number one source of electricity produced (54%), followed by nuclear sources (21%), hydropower (16%), natural gas (9%), oil (2%), and other non-renewables (3%)." "Out of the entire electric industry, coal-fired power plants contribute 96% of sulfur dioxide emissions, 93% of nitrogen oxide emissions, 88% of carbon dioxide emissions, and 99% of mercury emissions." 11-02

  30. Coal Power Usage By State (AmericasPower.org)
      Provides a map (at the bottom of the page) for showing which energy sources each state uses. 08-08

  31. Coal Power by State in the United States (SourceWatch.org)
      Provides statistics for coal power by amount of power produced in the United States. 12-12

  32. Coal Prices Compared to Natural Gas and Residual Fuel Oil (Energy Information Administration)
      "Since 1976, coal has been the least expensive fossil fuel used to generate electricity. During the early 1970s, natural gas was the least expensive fuel used to generate electricity. In 1973 electric utilities paid on the average, about 34 cents per million Btu of natural gas, 41 cents per million Btu of coal, and 80 cents per million Btu of petroleum.1" 08-09

  33. Coal Waning (ABC News)
      "For decades, coal from West Virginia's vast deposits was mined, loaded on rail cars and hauled off without leaving behind a lasting trust fund financed by the state's best-known commodity. Big coal's days are waning, but now a new bonanza in the natural gas fields has state leaders working to ensure history doesn't repeat itself." 09-13

  34. Coal Waste Disposal (Blogs.Nicholas.Duke.edu)
      "Number of train cars the unrecycled coal waste would fill: 620,000." 09-12

  35. Conversion of Coal-Fired Plants to Biomass in Virginia (The Daily Beast)
      "A major energy company has completed one of three planned conversions of a power plant from coal to biomass in Virginia."

      "The plants operated by Dominion will primarily use leftover from nearby timbering work for the biomass fuel. The plants, which generate enough power to serve roughly 12,500 households, are expected to continuously operate. According to the company, the conversion will reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and mercury in the environment. The conversion will replace 194,000 tons of coal at each station." 07-13

  36. Cost of Coal by Source (Department of Energy)
      Provides weekly summaries on the cost of coal by source. 05-09

  37. Cost of Coal by State (Department of Energy)
      Provides weekly summaries on the cost of coal (delivered) by state in terms of dollars per million BTU. 05-09

  38. EPA May Move to Regulate Carbon (Time.com)
      "On Feb. 17, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson announced that the agency would reconsider a Bush Administration decision not to regulate CO2 emissions from new coal power plants." 03-09

  39. Efficient Carbon Sequestration at Existing Coal Plants (American Electric Power)
      "American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) will install carbon capture on two coal-fired power plants, the first commercial use of technologies to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing plants."

      "In laboratory testing sponsored by Alstom, EPRI and others, the process has demonstrated the potential to capture more than 90 percent of CO2 at a cost that is far less expensive than other carbon capture technologies. It is applicable for use on new power plants as well as for the retrofit of existing coal-fired power plants."

      "The system chills the flue gas, recovering large quantities of water for recycle, and then utilizes a CO2 absorber in a similar way to absorbers used in systems that reduce sulfur dioxide emissions. The remaining low concentration of ammonia in the clean flue gas is captured by cold-water wash and returned to the absorber. The CO2 is compressed for enhanced oil recovery or storage."

      "The captured CO2 will be designated for geological storage in deep saline aquifers at the site." 03-07

  40. Largest Conversion from Coal to Biomass in Europe (RenewableEnergyWorld.com)
      "Drax Group Plc will spend $1 billion to turn the U.K.’s biggest coal-fired plant into western Europe’s largest clean- energy producer."

      "Drax emits at least 70 percent less carbon burning biomass than it does burning coal, Thompson said. Companies burning biomass don’t need to buy carbon credits to offset their emissions under the EU Emissions Trading System as the fuel is considered carbon-neutral." 12-12

  41. New Chinese Coal Plants Will Make Climate Change Almost Certain (BBC News)
      "Coal built China - and fuels its relentless growth today. Eighty per cent of China's electricity comes from coal, and there are plans for 544 new coal-fired power stations to meet an insatiable demand for energy."

      "Yet coal is a prime source of carbon dioxide - the global warming gas. If the power plants go ahead, it will be all but impossible to avoid dangerous climate change." 05-06

  42. New Coal Plants Will Swamp Kyoto Benefits (Christian Science Monitor)
      "New greenhouse-gas emissions from China, India, and the US will swamp cuts from the Kyoto treaty." 05-06

  43. New Rule Freezes Out Coal Plants (Time.com)
      "Dirty, cheap coal provides 49% of the electricity in the U.S. and 30% of the country's carbon emissions — which means that if the more than 100 new coal plants currently in the development pipeline get built, the planet is doomed to get warmer. That's what made a decision on Nov. 13 by an obscure appeals board at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) so important. Responding to a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club over a new coal plant being built in Utah, the board ruled that the EPA had no grounds to refuse to regulate the CO2 emitted by new coal plants. Immediately, that made it virtually impossible for the EPA to certify any new coal plant, freezing development. In the long term, it gives the incoming Obama Administration an opening to force the coal industry to clean up — or shut down." 02-09

  44. Study: Liquified Natural Gas May Be Worse than Coal (ThinkProgress.org)
      "An explosive new report from the U.S. Department of Energy makes clear that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is likely a climate-destroying misallocation of resources."

      "That is, if one uses estimates for methane leakage based on actual observations." 06-14

  45. TVA Ordered to Clean Up Coal-Fired Plants (CNN News)
      "A federal judge has ordered the Tennessee Valley Authority to clean up four coal-fired plants that he said were engulfing parts of North Carolina with air pollution -- emissions that fouled the region's health, economy and natural resources." 01-09

  46. Texas Is Still Building Coal-Fired Plants (Texas Tribune.org)
      "So what if coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels, faces tightening air-pollution standards from federal regulators? Texas — probably more than any other state — is aggressively building new coal plants."

      "Texas, which consumes far more coal power than any other state, already has 19 operating coal-fired power plants, the majority of which are in East Texas. (Some plants, including the proposed Las Brisas facility, burn petroleum coke, a refinery byproduct that is similar to coal.)" 07-13

  47. The Coal Dilemma (CET.com)
      "Rogers is the CEO of Duke Energy, the nation's third largest electric utility. His stacks pump 100 million tons of carbon dioxide every year, which makes what comes out of Rogers' mouth so surprising."

      " 'Controlling carbon emissions in the near future is inevitable in your view. This is going to happen,' Pelley remarked."

      " 'It's inevitable in my judgment,' Rogers agreed." 05-09

  48. The EPA Releases Proposed New Standards for Power Plants (US EPA)
      "On Sept. 20, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a new proposal for carbon pollution from new power plants. After considering more than 2.5 million comments from the public about the 2012 proposal and consideration of recent trends in the power sector, EPA is changing some aspects of its approach. EPA is proposing to set separate standards for natural gas-fired turbines and coal-fired units." 09-13

  49. Water-Smart Power (Union of Concerned Scientists)
      "The country stands at a critical crossroads. Many aging, water-intensive power plants are nearing the end of their lives. The choices we make to replace them will determine the water and climate implications of our electricity system for decades to come." 08-13

   
   


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