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Author Topic: Should the USA export coal?  (Read 2188 times)

Offline CliffordK

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Should the USA export coal?
« on: 13/05/2012 02:10:04 »
There have been recent proposals to export US coal to China & the East using Northwest ports.  It would provide some economic benefit to the port towns.  However, there has been significant opposition by environmentalists throughout the Northwest.

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2012/05/activists_rally_in_portland_ag.html
http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/port_of_morrow_exports/
http://grist.org/coal/coal-dependent-pacific-northwest-activists-fight-new-export-terminals/

Of course, they will likely just find a new route to get the coal out of the country.

http://www.transportationissuesdaily.com/coal-shipments-may-bypass-nw-ports-to-export-from-mexico/

I see that US Coal consumption has dropped slightly, but it isn't that we're down that much from historical levels.
http://205.254.135.7/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=5610


It seems as if there is no benefit from converting to more renewable energy domestically, only to export the coal elsewhere.  And, there is, of course, the need for long-term energy reserves.

Exporting coal to China might help offset the US/China trade deficit, but exporting cheap energy to China might might, in fact, be counter-productive to those ends.


 

Offline Geezer

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Re: Should the USA export coal?
« Reply #1 on: 13/05/2012 03:40:38 »
Should the USA export coal?

IMHO, the USA should consider banning the export of coal when everyone else stops cashing in on the technological advances that came out of the USA. They should feel free to identify a better model.
 

Offline peppercorn

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Re: Should the USA export coal?
« Reply #2 on: 13/05/2012 11:16:49 »
Anyway it's probably the case that US exports of coal are only economically viable because of the loophole ridden nature of the current Carbon Trading statutes - ie. if it's not burnt on our shores we don;t have to count it!

Geezer, stealing of intellectual property has been going since year dot (it's just a thousand times faster today). The rising new imperialist force in the world always 'borrows' heavily from the falling power's IP.

Allow the coal to be exported from the US;  Ban the export.   - Either way will count as an unmeasurable impact on China's growth.  But the moral thing to do would be to leave it in the ground!
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Should the USA export coal?
« Reply #3 on: 13/05/2012 12:12:13 »
only economically viable because of the loophole ridden nature of the current Carbon Trading statutes
But the moral thing to do would be to leave it in the ground!

The US, of course, is not a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol.

I'm all for leaving the coal in the ground as long as possible.  Economics, of course, is all about growth.  I imagine the coal companies are projecting slowly decreasing coal demand in the USA for the next century... so they are looking to shore up their production.  However, they could remain profitable by continuing to work the old mines and old equipment, and to decrease investment in new equipment.  Perhaps invest in energy diversification.

However, it probably isn't appropriate for the coastal states to deny the central states access to the port systems.
 

Offline peppercorn

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Re: Should the USA export coal?
« Reply #4 on: 13/05/2012 19:10:27 »
The US, of course, is not a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol.

Don't individual states (some, if not all) have statutes on (or coming on soon) to the books that will require Carbon Credits to be used?   These may have an indirect effect on the mining company's strategy in planning for the coming years.

Perhaps the mining co's should consider gasifying their coal from active mines near to abandoned/mothballed mines. So 'making' hydrogen, etc at the pithead and 'burying' CO2 (adsorption into the rocks) in the empty shafts. Carbon Credits should then role in! ;)
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Should the USA export coal?
« Reply #5 on: 13/05/2012 21:11:59 »
There never has been good nationwide support for Carbon Trading. 
There was a Chicago Climate/Carbon Exchange that is now defunct.

There was also a Western Climate Initiative.  "18 November 2011: Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington leave WCI formally".  This leaves California plus much of Canada as formal members.  However, the onset of the Cap & Trade provisions have be delayed.  This year (2012) will likely determine whether the Western Climate Initiative actually goes into early implementation, or collapses.  My guess is that a large number of regions will be playing a wait & see game.

One might note that the middle of a strong La Niña cycle combined with a cold phase PDO cycle, and a weak solar cycle is not a good time to be doing climate initiatives.  And, of course, also in the middle of a global recession.
« Last Edit: 13/05/2012 21:19:52 by CliffordK »
 

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Re: Should the USA export coal?
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