Monday, November 4, 2013

Stench of Coal's Rotting Corpse Starting to Penetrate

Every minute that desperate locals and bought-off legislators refuse to acknowledge the decomposition of the body they embrace is another minute Big Coal collects tax subsidies and destroys lives in pursuit of the last penny of profit.

Erika Peterson at WFPL Radio:

A new report says the amount of coal that’s economically recoverable in the United States has been vastly overblown. The report’s authors say public data shows that the supply has peaked in most of the country’s coal-producing states, including Kentucky.

The report by environmental nonprofit Clean Energy Action takes issue with predictions from the federal Energy Information Administration, where analysts estimate the U.S. has 200 years of recoverable coal left. But that number doesn’t take into account whether the coal will be profitable for operators to extract.

Based on data from the U.S. Geological Survey, the report estimates that only 10 percent of the coal in Central Appalachia will be profitable to mine. For the Illinois Basin—which includes Western Kentucky—only 9 percent of the coal is economically recoverable. This data goes against what the EIA has forecast, as well as what pro-mining groups like the National Mining Association have estimated.

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