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Have rumors of coal’s death been greatly exaggerated? For years, it had been reported that Coal Country was on the brink of devastation as markets worldwide, including China, had been transitioning from the energy material and into greener alternatives, like natural gas and renewables. However, in the post-pandemic economy, it might be a matter of what is old is new again, with a growing number of nations depending on the rock for their energy needs. Is the treasured Christmas gift making a comeback, or is it a temporary substitute until the commodities supercycle subsides and international commerce stabilizes? Gift givers might put that lump of coal back as stocking stuffers this year.
Article by Andrew Moran from Liberty Nation.
Green Europe Goes Dirty
Europe has talked about fighting carbon emissions and adopting policies that would embrace windmills and solar panels. But until there is a windmill next to the Eiffel Tower and Stonehenge, the continent is relying on natural gas to power households and businesses on the other side of the coronavirus-induced lockdowns. The problem? European countries are running low on natural gas inventories, unable to meet skyrocketing electricity demand. The solution? Coal.
According to new data from Axpo Solutions AG, coal usage in Europe has advanced as much as 15% so far this year, led by Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland. The trend is a remarkable setback for European leaders ahead of climate negotiations in Scotland later this year as they try to balance being green with imbibing the energy source of yesteryear.
“Energy demand has been pretty strong in Europe and we have seen a recovery from the pandemic,” Andy Sommer, team leader of fundamental analysis and modeling at Swiss trader Axpo Solutions AG, told Bloomberg. “Gas storage is so low now that Europe cannot afford to run extra power generation with the fuel.”
These developments are not only concentrated in Europe. China, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States are turning to the dirtiest fossil fuel to keep the lights on.
The surging demand is lifting global coal prices to multi-year highs. Spot coal in Pennsylvania is up 22% year-to-date, high-quality thermal coal in Newcastle is at a decade high, and Northwest European coal has rallied more than 6% since the middle of May. IHS Markit projects that these prices could be the norm heading into the fourth quarter.
Could this fuel the rebirth of Coal Country? The industry appears to be getting prepared, even if consumption is forecast to be brief and even lower this year than in 2019.
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A Comeback Story For Coal
U.S. production is estimated to rise 7.8% in 2021 and 2.7% in 2022, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Short-Term Energy Outlook. Coal exports are predicted to increase more than 22% this year, and 4.5% the following year. Overall, shipments are anticipated to represent fewer than one-fifth of total U.S. coal output in 2021 and 2022.
The United States will not be the only market to capitalize on the temporary coal boom. A new study by Global Energy Monitor found that more than 400 new coal-mining projects are being established with an annual production capacity of 2.28 billion tons. Australia, China, India, and Russia will account for three-quarters of these new endeavors.
“While the IEA (International Energy Agency) has just called for a giant leap toward net zero emissions, coal producers’ plans to expand capacity 30% by 2030 would be a leap backward,” said Ryan Driskell Tate, Global Energy Monitor research analyst and lead author of the report, in a statement.
However, Driskell Tate believes these new investments could suffocate companies with as much as $91 billion in non-performing assets since “new mines and expansions of existing mines will be producing coal for a world in which coal is unviable economically, and untenable for the environment.”
China has stated that it expects to lower its emissions to a peak by 2030 and net zero by 2060. Beijing also noted that it would begin to slash coal output beginning in 2026. The world’s second-largest economy has seen its coal-fired power plants rushing to accumulate supplies prior to the zenith of summer demand. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has also pledged to crack down on speculation and hoarding that federal regulators believe have contributed to the spike in coal prices. Suffice it to say, much of the activity is occurring in the mouth of the red dragon.
Is Coal Here To Stay?
For now, Coal Country could enjoy a temporary revitalization. Natural gas has become too expensive for gas-fired electricity-generation utilities, logistics have made greening the grid more challenging, and inventories are being exhausted. The short-term boost might perturb the green lobby and environmentalists and throw a wrench in the Great Reset. But it is welcomed relief for the thousands of workers in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, West Virginia, and Montana who have seen their livelihoods dissipate due to government intervention and market forces. Coal-mining employment has collapsed to a record low, and the long-term trends paint a bearish portrait for the sector. Nevertheless, the transitory gains could afford many families in Middle America the opportunity to survive the economic uncertainty in the post-COVID economy, even if that means emitting some carbon that pales in comparison to what China and Russia will be discharging into the air.
Read more from Andrew Moran.
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New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
They say we have to go big or go home. We’re trying to go big and bring the patriotic truth the the nation, but we need help.
Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $3000-$7000 per month. In other words, we’re in the red and hemorrhaging.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring the truth to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going.
Thank you and God Bless,
They’re Trying to Shut Us Down
Over the last several months, I’ve lost count of how many times the powers-that-be have tried to shut us down. They’ve sent hackers at us, forcing us to take extreme measures on web security. They sent attorneys after us, but thankfully we’re not easily intimidated by baseless accusations or threats. They’ve even gone so far as to make physical threats. Those can actually be a bit worrisome but Remington has me covered.
For us to continue to deliver the truth that Americans need to read and hear, we ask you, our amazing audience, for financial assistance. We just launched a GiveSendGo page to help us pay the bills. It’s brand new so don’t be discouraged by the lack of donations there. It’s a funny reality that the fewer the donations that have been made, the less likely people are willing to donate to it. One would think this is counterintuitive, but sometimes people are skeptical because they think that perhaps there’s a reason others haven’t been donating. In our situation, we’re just getting started so please don’t be shy if you have the means to help.
Thank you and God bless!