• 4 minutes Pompeo: Aramco Attacks Are An "Act Of War" By Iran
  • 7 minutes Who Really Benefits From The "Iran Attacked Saudi Arabia" Narrative?
  • 11 minutes Trump Will Win In 2020
  • 15 minutes Experts review Saudi damage photos. Say Said is need to do a lot of explaining.
  • 28 mins Ethanol is the SAVIOR of the Oil Industry, Convenience Store Industry, Automotive Supply Chain Industry and Much More!
  • 49 mins Ethanol, the Perfect Home Remedy for A Saudi Oil Fever
  • 59 mins Instagram Now Banning Photos Of People At Gun Ranges, Claiming They Promote "Violence"
  • 13 hours Let's shut down dissent like The Conversation in Australia
  • 6 hours Famous Manufacturer of Anti-Ethanol Additives Proves Ethanol's Safety and Benefits
  • 12 hours Collateral Damage: Saudi Disruption Leaves Canada's Biggest Refinery Vulnerable
  • 18 hours Hong Kong protesters appeal to Trump for support.
  • 18 hours Saudi State-of-Art Defense System looking the wrong way. MBS must fire Defense Minister. Oh, MBS is Defense Minister. Forget about it.
  • 3 hours US and China are already in a full economic war and this battle for global hegemony is a little bit frightening
  • 8 hours Trump Accidentally Discusses Technology Used In The Border Wall
  • 8 hours One of the fire satellite pictures showed what look like the fire hit outside the main oil complex. Like it hit storage or pipeline facility. Not big deal.
  • 11 hours Iran in the world market
Alt Text

Coal Is Fueling China’s Data Center Boom

China’s data center sector is…

Alt Text

India’s Coal Paradox

India is making a huge…

David Gabel

David Gabel

David is a writer at Environmental News Network

More Info

Premium Content

U.S. Coal Industry Suffering from Low Natural Gas Prices and Environmental Opposition

The Washington Post has announced that in 2010, not a single new coal-fired power plant was constructed in the United States. This marks the second year in a row in which this has occurred. Coal remains the most abundantly used source of electricity, accounting for half of all power generation. However, a number of factors, such as the economy, lower natural gas prices, and environmentalist opposition, have effectively halted the growth of the coal industry.

Coal is being dumped in favor of natural gas, which due to extensive exploration and production, has a significantly lower price than in the past. Much of the new gas production is in shale rock, which have recently been unlocked due to new technologies. Reserves of shale gas are believed to be vast in North America and elsewhere, rivaling the oil reserves of the Middle East.

America's largest electricity generator, American Electric Power (AEP), plans to turn to natural gas for any additional electrical capacity. The price of natural gas straight from the wellhead stood at about $4.25 per thousand cubic feet in 2010, well below its historic average price. According to a report from Deutsche Bank, if gas prices stay below $6, more plants will be converting from coal to gas.

"Coal is a dead man walkin'," says Kevin Parker, global head of asset management and a member of the executive committee at Deutsche Bank. "Banks won't finance them. Insurance companies won't insure them. The EPA is coming after them...And the economics to make it clean don't work."

But coal is not completely dead yet. Last year, the coal industry managed to kill the climate legislation (cap and trade) in the US Senate, showing it still has a lot of influence in politics and public opinion. Plus, even as it declines, it remains the number one source of electricity in America.

However, the coal industry is under a heavy assault from the Environmental Protection Agency. Starting this year, new EPA regulations take effect to lower greenhouse gas emissions of power plants emitting over 75,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Such a rule would force industry to install state-of-the-art emissions controls on new construction in order to obtain the necessary air permits. For a dirty fossil fuel like coal, the added cost of new controls can make it economically prohibitive, accelerating the conversion to natural gas.

Fights among lawmakers and in the courts can be expected as the new regulations begin to take effect. Many Republicans plan to block or hamstring the EPA's efforts. Nevertheless, overall demand for coal power is decreasing in the United States. From 2000 to 2008, 19 new coal-fired plants were constructed. In 2010, plans to build 38 new plants were abandoned, and an additional 48 plants were mothballed. For the sake of the environment, let's hope this trend continues.

By. David Gabel

Source: Environmental News Network




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play