U.S. Moratorium on New Coal Leases Draws Critics and Advocates

first_imgU.S. Moratorium on New Coal Leases Draws Critics and Advocates FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Dennis Webb for the Grand Junction (Colo.) Daily Sentinel:Pro-coal advocates are working to turn out in force Thursday when the Bureau of Land Management holds a meeting in Grand Junction to gather input on possible reforms to the federal coal program.The meeting is one of six being held around the country, and supporters from Colorado and beyond are expected to show up to speak on the industry’s behalf as it struggles locally and nationally with mine layoffs and shutdowns, bankruptcies and other setbacks.Advocates for reforming the federal coal program or even ending coal mining altogether also will be attending, although one of them, Jeremy Nichols of WildEarth Guardians, said probably not in the same numbers as the industry supporters. He’s sympathetic with their desire to rally on the industry’s behalf.“The coal industry should be proud of what it’s done for this state. Nobody’s saying that we should not acknowledge the great stuff that they’ve brought over the years, but it’s time to move on,” from coal mining, he said.Nichols plans to reiterate his group’s call to leave coal in the ground due to its air-pollution and climate-change impacts, but also for the federal government to step up efforts to help coal miners and communities shift away from coal economically.“We can get behind good policies that acknowledge the need to give communities in Delta County and Craig tools to transition,” he said.The future of Peabody Energy’s Twentymile Mine between Craig and Steamboat Springs is currently up in the air following Peabody’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization and the failure of Bowie Resource Partners to be able to complete a deal to buy the mine.Meanwhile, in the North Fork Valley, Oxbow Mining has permanently closed its Elk Creek Mine, Bowie has idled its Bowie No. 2 Mine, and Arch Coal, which also is in bankruptcy reorganization, recently laid off 80 miners. Combined, the valley has seen the loss of many hundreds of mining jobs in recent years.Coal companies have faced slowdowns in national and international markets, in part due to increased competition from natural gas as a power-plant fuel source and also due to increased regulations aimed at reducing air pollutants and carbon emissions.Nichols said it’s also important for the Interior Department to get on board when it comes to helping coal communities transition to more diverse economies.“If they don’t, it’s just going to lead to I think more disaster for communities in the West,” Nichols said.Full article: Coal advocates look to unite at meetinglast_img read more

Xcel Gets Texas OK For 1.2 GW Of New Wind Power

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:Texas regulators on Friday approved Xcel Energy’s $1.6 billion, 1.2 GW wind expansion plan, about a month after New Mexico first gave its OK.Xcel will build and own two wind farms, one in each state, along with signing a power purchase agreement (PPA) with NextEra Energy Resources for 230 MW at the Bonita project in Texas. Xcel said customers will begin seeing fuel savings once the facilities are completed in 2021. The company expects average monthly fuel savings of about $2 for a typical residential customer.As coal-fired power in Texas struggles to compete against gas-fired and renewable power, the planned addition of nearly 4,000 MW of wind capacity means it could exceed coal in Texas as soon as this year.Xcel’s Hale project in Texas and Sagamore facility in New Mexico will combine to provide 1 GW and are expected online in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Energy for the Bonita PPA with NextEra will be generated at facilities in Cochran and Crosby counties in Texas.David Hudson, president of Xcel’s New Mexico and Texas operations, said in a statement that the “new wind farms will help power a growing regional economy with clean energy while providing the lowest-cost generating resource on our system. Not only will these wind farms save customers money, but they’ll also preserve precious water resources and spur regional economic activity.”Xcel said the project will save hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel costs over 30 years by offsetting generation from the region’s conventional power plants. The two facilities Xcel Energy will build also qualify for 100% of the federal production tax credit; those benefits will be passed on to customers, the company said.More: Texas Regulators Approve Xcel’s $1.6 Billion Wind Expansion Xcel Gets Texas OK For 1.2 GW Of New Wind Powerlast_img read more