Dept. of Energy Announces $122M In Funding For “Coal Innovation” Centers

Dept. of Energy Announces $122M In Funding For “Coal Innovation” Centers

On Friday, the Energy Department announced it will provide more than $120m in funding to create “coal products innovation centers… [that] …will focus on manufacturing value-added, carbon-based products from coal, as well as developing new methods to extract and process rare earth elements and critical minerals from coal.” 

Why This Matters: Coal innovation is an oxymoron or maybe just moronic – and certainly a dubious investment.

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Renewable Energy Passes Coal, Treasury Dept. Extends Renewable Tax Credits

Renewable Energy Passes Coal, Treasury Dept. Extends Renewable Tax Credits

The Energy Department (DOE) reported yesterday that for the first time since basically the industrial revolution began in the late nineteenth century, in 2019 renewable energy consumption surpassed the consumption of energy generated by coal.  Coal power generation declined by 15% last year, while renewables increased by 1%.

Why This Matters:  Ten years ago coal dominated the power sector, but the trend toward wind and solar is unlikely to reverse — coal is now on its way out completely here.

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Oil and Gas Companies Continue to Lead on Getting Government Handouts

Oil and Gas Companies Continue to Lead on Getting Government Handouts

Oil and gas companies continue to pump the government for cash.  Bloomberg Law News reported that the Administration has granted 76 royalty waivers to oil and gas companies who are drilling for oil on federal land in Utah — lowering the rates from 12.5% to as low as 2.5%. 

Why This Matters:  The giveaways to oil and gas companies in the name of saving jobs just keep coming.

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Renewables Top Coal, Oil Markets “Officially Broken” According to Industry Analysts

Renewables Top Coal, Oil Markets “Officially Broken” According to Industry Analysts

The winds are shifting — literally and figuratively — in U.S. energy, as the oil industry is declared “officially broken” due to a historic glut in supply, while renewable energy output continues to grow as coal power shrinks. 

Why This Matters:  Happy Earth Day.  We don’t mean this acclamation to denigrate the industry that gave our country affordable energy or to say the pandemic has been a good thing.  Hardly.  But it seems that the times are now changing.

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The EPA Relaxes Rule on Mercury Pollution By Greatly Tipping Scales to Favor Polluters

The EPA Relaxes Rule on Mercury Pollution By Greatly Tipping Scales to Favor Polluters

On Thursday, the Trump Administration continued its environmental armageddon by changing the way costs and benefits of rules are calculated in favor of polluters and thus fundamentally weakening current regulatory protections from mercury and other toxic metals emitted by oil and coal-fired power plants.

Why This Matters:  The polluters win again – President Trump continues to deliver for his big donors.

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Indiana Votes in Favor of a Coal Bailout Bill

Indiana Votes in Favor of a Coal Bailout Bill

This week the Indiana House narrowly endorsed a proposal aimed at making it more difficult for Indiana electric companies to close more coal-fired power plants. As Inside Climate News explained this is the latest effort by coal-heavy states to beat back the market forces making coal-fired power more expensive than wind, solar and natural gas. […]

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