Biden’s Latest Blow to Coal Sends Shockwaves Through Industry

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The Biden Administration issued a controversial environmental rule that would ban any new leases for coal on federal lands in the richest coal region in the country.

The Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana is responsible for more than one-third of the coal mined in the United States. Eliminating federal leases would cripple western coal regions just as new technologies are being developed that will realize the dream of “clean coal.”

Green groups sued to stop the sale of any new coal leases. According to NPR, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), “ruled that new leases would have significant effects on human health and climate due to coal being burnt at power plants”, according to NPR.

Mark Fix, of the Montana-based Northern Plains Resource Council said in a press release that the BLM’s plan reflects today’s reality on the coal market.

Who is “common sense”? Electricity consumers in the West are not likely to agree, as there is still a large market for coal in power plants.

In a press release, Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso alleged that the Biden Administration was “waging war against Wyoming’s coal community and families”.

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“This will kill jobs and could cost Wyoming hundreds of millions of dollars used to pay for public schools, roads, and other essential services,” he said.

The court decision on Thursday follows an earlier ruling this year that overturned the Obama-era prohibition of new coal leasing.

In Wyoming, however, groups still have 30 days to lodge formal protests in response to the BLM’s recent decisions on the Powder River Basin.

This decision is shortsighted because new technologies to clean coal are on the way. These would reduce emissions of “dirty coal” and satisfy everyone except for the most fanatical eco-warriors.

CCS was used for the first time in 1980. CCS can be applied at multiple points to remove nearly all of the CO2 in coal.

Popular Mechanics:

This technology can be used with fuels based on oxygen and post-combustion. The CO2 is bound with a solvent in the post-combustion process, which drives it into storage. CCS based on oxygen burns the CO2 away in a boiler. CCS has been praised for its effectiveness by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency.

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In a rare bipartisan act, former Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced that the Obama Administration had invested $84,000,000 in this technology. This plant, Petra Nova is the first post-combustion facility in the world. It is located about 30 miles southwest of Houston and captures 1.6 million tons of CO2 each year.

Imagine investing $1 trillion in wind and solar energy to make CCS more cost-effective and efficient. Our most abundant and cheapest energy source could run our electric plants for hundreds of years.

But like the idiotic paranoia about nuclear power, the greens have decided that coal, no matter how “clean” it burns, will kill us all.

Unfortunately, Biden’s administration will make it nearly impossible for the coal industry to recover before CCS is a reality on a large scale. When blind ideology is driving policy, this is what you get.