“Beautiful, clean coal,” as President Donald Trump described it in his January 2018 State of the Union address, is still not making the comeback the president promised. In fact, power-plant coal consumption continues to drop in large increments and shows no sign of changing course. And the less coal power plants burn, the harder the […]
Over the last several months, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has taken two actions intended to ensure that coal-fired power plants continue to comprise a substantial portion of the nation’s energy portfolio. In December 2018, the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) issued a request for proposal (RFP) seeking “conceptual designs for coal-based power […]
As part of its two-part strategy to revitalize coal-fired power in the United States, the EPA is proposing to amend its 2015 final New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new, modified, and reconstructed electric utility generating units (EGUs).
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) wants to know why only 35% of active coal miners are participating in NIOSH’s voluntary Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP). The CWHSP offers miners free health screenings, including chest X-rays and spirometry examinations, which help detect dust-induced interstitial lung disease (black lung or coal workers’ […]
In a final rule, the EPA has promulgated amendments to its 2015 requirements for the disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCRs) generated by electric utilities (April 17, 2015, Federal Register (FR)). The final amendments, which were included in a package of revisions the Agency proposed in early 2018 (March 15, 2018, FR), loosen the stringency […]
In a notice, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) says it is beginning a retrospective study on how effective its 2014 final rule has been in lowering the exposure of underground and surface miners to respirable coal dust.
Notwithstanding many verbal endorsements from the Trump administration and several preliminary regulatory actions (e.g., a pullback on EPA’s Clean Power Plan and the Agency’s proposed deregulatory amendments to the Obama EPA’s 2016 Coal Combustion Residuals rule), coal-fired energy is not experiencing a renaissance in the United States.
Self-insurance as a means for mining companies to show regulators that funds will be available to remediate damage to the environment caused by industrial activities is coming under increasing scrutiny and is not holding up well under the magnifying glass.
In a September 15, 2016, hearing of the House Environment Subcommittee, Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), the subcommittee chair, modified for a new purpose the “war on coal” tagline supporters of the mining and energy industries have used to characterize the Obama administration’s coal-related environmental regulations. According to Bridenstine, the administration is now also engaging in a […]
A U.S. district court judge in West Virginia has ordered the EPA to meet the requirement in Section 321(a) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), which states that the Agency “shall conduct continuing evaluations of potential shifts in employment” and “threatened plant closures and reductions in employment” resulting from “administration or enforcement” of the Act. […]