Author Topic: Coal and its effects  (Read 20155 times)

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Offline Sherman Cahal

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Coal and its effects
« on: December 02, 2008, 07:56:49 AM »
I'd like for this thread to be devoted to coal companies and related topics, including mountain top mining, strip mining, and coal-fired power plants. From yesterday's Charleston Gazette --

U.S. Supreme Court unanimously turned down Massey Energy Company's challenge to a verdict that allotted Wheeling-Pittsburg Steel Company $119.8 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages, today totaling $250 million due to interest. Sorry Massey, you can't buy out all of the courts.

U.S. Supreme Court declines W.Va. coal dispute
Charleston Gazette, December 1, 2008

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court is refusing to enter a politically charged case from West Virginia involving a large punitive damages award and allegations of bias by a state judge.

In an order today, the justices turned down coal giant Massey Energy Co.'s challenge to a $260 million jury verdict -- including $100 million in punitive damages -- in a contract dispute with Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Co.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 10:20:26 AM by ColDayMan »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2008, 12:10:01 AM »
The good and the bad. The bad first.

Activists slam EPA mining rule change, urge reversal
By Vicki Smith, AP, December 4, 2008

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Angry environmentalists launched an online campaign Wednesday urging President-elect Barack Obama to undo a federal rule that clarifies when coal companies can dump mining waste in streams, calling it a long-awaited "parting gift" from the Bush administration.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:10:50 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2008, 12:15:15 AM »
I've known this was coming for a while. While the BofA may not have financed a lot of mountaintop removal projects, it's announcement as part of its green initiative (remember, they also fund a LOT of historic preservation projects) is already sending messages to other banks that... you too can join in on this and make a difference and change.

It's clear (from the above post) that legislation at the federal level won't stop mountaintop removal, or the nasty side effects. Coal companies are now free to completely fill up valleys and mountain streams with little regard for the environment -- and this just legalizes it; it was rarely, if ever enforced before. Many states, such as Kentucky, are in disbelief over the recent EPA ruling (Governor Beshear and Strickland condemned the ruling). So what's left? The financing!

Remember that BofA was part of a larger pact on this. Watch for other firms to potentially follow suit.

Bank of America to stop financing mountaintop removal
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, December 5, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - One of the world's largest financial institutions said this week it will phase out lending money to coal operators that use mountaintop removal mining.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:11:14 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2008, 12:17:01 AM »
See the above two articles before this.

Industry calls Bank of America coal policy PR ploy
By Vicki Smith, AP, December 5, 2008

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Bank of America says it will phase out financing of coal companies that predominantly use destructive mountaintop removal mining practices, citing concern for the environment. But the policy, buried in the company's Web site this week and barely acknowledged by its public relations department, may be little more than show.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:11:34 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2008, 12:43:49 PM »
Bank halts lending to coal companies that engage in mountaintop removal
Posted December 8, 2008 at American Byways by Sherman Cahal

On November 4, Bank of America announced that it would halt financing mountaintop removal projects amid pressure from the Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Rainforest Action Network flew banking executives over mountaintop removal sites earlier in the year, to showcase just what their financing was providing: cheap coal at a steep price.

It was reported that several of the executives were shocked in disbelief. Portrayed as a cheaper, safer alternative to underground mining, the coal industry has played the effects of mountaintop removal as minor, stating that the reclaimed sites were "good for bugs" and that they were thriving.

For point, check out the following commercials:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rw-135B34s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-WtKQAloSA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ahRleExjY4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fxsg601tuA

They really play on the lower denominator of intelligence, to those who are gullible enough to actually take the advertisements with a grain of salt.

Of course, the halt in financing by Bank of America has made several coal operators jittery about financing. Earlier this year, three investment banks announced new non-binding environmental standards to help lenders evaluate risks associated with investments in coal-fired power plants. Of course, coal companies state it is a public relations ploy.

The news came immediately after the "Environmental" Protection Agency legalized the dumping of waste and mountain spoil into valleys. While this has occurred for decades with little penalty, this only gives the coal industry further credit for their destructive practices. Another lasting legacy of George Bush!

In other news, hstoric Tater Knob Fire Tower near Zilpo in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky was badly damaged by arson. It remained the only former fire tower open to the public in the state.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2008, 12:45:19 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2008, 12:10:52 AM »
Report: Wind project better than strip mining
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, December 9, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A wind-power production facility along the ridges of Coal River Mountain would provide more jobs and tax revenues than a mountaintop removal operation planned by Massey Energy, according to a new economic impact report released today.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:12:07 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2008, 12:11:40 AM »
Manchin: Coal remains energy 'cornerstone'
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, December 9, 2008

ROANOKE, W. Va. -- Gov. Joe Manchin said Tuesday that he opposes President-elect Barack Obama's plan to cap greenhouse gas emissions to try to curb global warming.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:12:18 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2008, 12:12:51 AM »
I've posted three articles today on coal in West Virginia. Well worth the read.

BREAKING NEWS: Manchin announces plan for $3 billion coal-to-gas liquids plant in W.Va.
By George Hohmann, Charleston Daily Mail, December 9, 2008

ROANOKE, W.Va. -- Gov. Joe Manchin and Adam Victor, president of TransGas Development Systems of New York City, today announced the company's plan to build a $3 billion coal-to-gas liquids plant in Mingo County.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:12:29 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2008, 09:01:44 PM »
Note: This is the latest in a series of coal-to-liquid projects proposed for the Mid-Atlantic. A massive coal-to-liquids project in southern Indiana -- on this scale, was just canceled on November 25, 2008. Many coal fired power plants are in limbo due to CO2 emissions -- more than half that was planned have been shelved indefinitely, and half of those that still remain could be shelved if financing does not come through for 2009. Consol's coal-to-liquid project died in northern West Virginia on October 24, 2008, as the primary backer bolted for greener pastures. The developer of the plant, Synthesis Energy Systems, stated that it would build plant in China with little to no regulatory oversight.

Coal plant emissions in question
$3 billion Mingo project leaves greenhouse gas plans unclear
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, December 10, 2008

ROANOKE, W.Va. - A New York firm wants to build a $3 billion coal-to-liquids plant in Mingo County, but has not yet come up with a firm plan to control the facility's carbon dioxide emissions.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:12:40 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2008, 07:38:12 AM »
Groups sue for coal plant compliance
Suit seeks cuts in toxic emissions by power plants
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, December 20, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit trying to force the federal government to comply with a 6-year-old mandate to reduce toxic chemical emissions from coal-fired power plants.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:12:52 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2008, 07:42:20 AM »
Coal River mine permit challenge by wind proponents
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, December 19, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Environmental groups said Thursday they are appealing the Manchin administration's approval of a key permit change for a Massey Energy strip mine at a site where citizen groups are promoting alternative plans for a wind-energy facility.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:13:03 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2008, 07:42:44 AM »
YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

Flood of sludge breaks TVA dike
Collapse poses risk of toxic ash
By Anne Paine and Colby Sledge, The Tennessean, December 23, 2008

HARRIMAN, Tenn. — Millions of cubic yards of ashy sludge broke through a dike at TVA's Kingston coal-fired plant Monday, covering hundreds of acres, knocking one home off its foundation and putting environmentalists on edge about toxic chemicals that may be seeping into the ground and flowing downriver.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:13:47 PM by Sherman Cahal »

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2008, 07:48:11 AM »
^SO sad!
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Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2008, 07:51:31 AM »
Kentucky is not new to this. There was a massive slurry spill in Martin County in October 2000, which released 300 millions of thick slurry that flooded miles of creeks that eventually reached the Big Sandy and Ohio Rivers -- literally turning them into black, thick cesspools that killed all aquatic life. Cleanup was funded entirely by the state, despite lawsuits.

Tennessee slurry spill brings calls for emergency plans in Kentucky
By Cassondra Kirby Mullins, Herald Leader, December 23, 2008

A day after a massive coal sludge break in Tennessee covered hundreds of acres in ashy waste, Kentucky environmentalists and leaders said they will continue pushing for legislation to require emergency action plans in case of similar failures in the Commonwealth.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:13:59 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2008, 07:57:35 AM »
Read above for two articles on yesterday's massive toxic ash spill.

Current policy says land within 100 feet of a stream cannot be disturbed by mining unless a company can prove it will not affect the water's quality and quantity. The new regulation would allow mining that would alter a stream's flow as long as any damage to the environment is repaired later. As if.

New mountaintop mining rule leads to suit
By Jesse J. Holland, AP, December 23, 2008

WASHINGTON — Environmentalists sued the Bush administration on Monday, trying to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from changing a rule that they say keeps mining waste from entering mountain streams.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:14:15 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2008, 12:00:22 AM »
Finally, at least some justice for coal miners! Too bad that penalties for other violations, including the disastrous Sago mine, were far too lenient. At least they are now focusing their efforts on going after the managers of the mine.

Aracoma assessed record fine
Two died in 2006 fire; company admits to escape-route failures
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, December 24, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A Massey Energy subsidiary has admitted to criminal safety violations that caused the deaths of two Logan County coal miners in a January 2006 fire, federal prosecutors revealed Tuesday.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:14:27 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2008, 10:49:54 AM »
TVA head pledges to test wells near coal ash spill
By Kristin M. Hall, AP, December 29, 2008

KINGSTON, Tenn. — The chief executive officer and president of the nation's largest public utility promised Sunday to address the health and safety concerns of a community near a major coal ash spill in eastern Tennessee.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:14:45 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2008, 10:51:21 AM »
I thought the TVA said the water was safe!???? (see last post)

Tenn. well water might be unsafe
By Kristin M. Hall, AP, December 30, 2008

KINGSTON, Tenn. — Some water samples near a massive spill of coal ash in eastern Tennessee are showing high levels of arsenic, and state and federal officials on Monday cautioned residents who use private wells or springs to stop drinking the water.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:14:55 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2009, 08:23:43 AM »
Community's future clouded by sludge spill
By Beth Rucker, AP, January 2, 2008

HARRIMAN, Tenn. — Tom Grizzard wonders what the future holds for a spot that once seemed the perfect place to live. His pastoral enclave boasted vistas of tree-covered hills, glimpses of the Emory River and access to fishing holes and hunting havens.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:15:07 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2009, 08:24:53 AM »
Metal levels found high in tributary after spill
By Shaila Dewan, New York Times, January 2, 2008

An environmental advocacy group's tests of river water and ash near the site of a massive coal ash spill in eastern Tennessee showed levels of arsenic, lead, chromium and other metals two to 300 times higher than drinking water standards, the group said Thursday.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:15:32 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2009, 04:54:25 PM »
The TVA controversy continues.

TVA inspector: Business came before ethics
AP, January 5, 2009

KINGSTON, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Authority's inspector general said in a report that agency managers placed business interests above regulatory compliance after a plant incident in Alabama.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:15:47 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2009, 08:47:24 PM »
Congress chastises TVA over toxic spill
By Halimah Abdullah, Herald-Leader, January 8, 2009

WASHINGTON—Senators from both sides of the aisle took the Tennessee Valley Authority to task during a congressional hearing Thursday into the TVA's handling of last month's spill of 1 billion gallons of toxic sludge in Tennessee.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:15:56 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2009, 10:15:03 PM »
Wind project triggers defense of coal by Raleigh commissioner
By Mannix Porterfield, Register-Herald, January 6, 2009

A proposed wind project on Coal Mountain as an alternative to mountaintop mining triggered a defense Tuesday of the coal industry in general by a Raleigh County commissioner.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:16:06 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Clevelumbus

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2009, 10:45:33 PM »
I'll be mapping the coal sludge spill in Tennessee tomorrow, I'll try to snap some pics.
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Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2009, 10:51:37 PM »
Be careful. I had some friends who were arrested by the TVA for photographing a public waterway and of the spill. Their camera was confiscated, and all images wiped. They were released, but they are planning a lawsuit against the TVA.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 10:51:52 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline Clevelumbus

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2009, 11:35:09 PM »
Thanks for the warning, I'll be snapping the pics from the air though.
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Offline Robert Pence

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2009, 06:58:57 AM »
Be careful. I had some friends who were arrested by the TVA for photographing a public waterway and of the spill. Their camera was confiscated, and all images wiped. They were released, but they are planning a lawsuit against the TVA.

That sounds like they clearly have grounds for a lawsuit, and the people who confiscated their camera might even be subject to prosecution. Requiring someone to delete images is a gray area, but I think the law is clear about taking possession of property without a warrant; they can't take physical control of your camera or memory card.
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Offline Clevelumbus

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2009, 10:15:56 PM »
Here are the pics I got. The river was muddied for a good 6-8 miles downstream.














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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2009, 11:19:52 PM »
Oh, what a sick mess. Our poor environment.  :cry:
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 11:20:03 PM by C-Dawg Njaim »

Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2009, 09:03:16 PM »
TVA should return to its roots
AGENCY THAT MADE A LONG TREK FROM SAVIOR TO OUTLAW NEEDS NEW PURPOSE
By Tom Eblen, Herald-Leader columnist, January 11, 2009

The Tennessee Valley Authority was one of the grandest experiments of the New Deal.

It was conceived as a federal corporation that could use the power of government and the flexibility of business to improve life in a seven-state region that included parts of Kentucky. TVA also was to be a "living laboratory" for progress.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:16:21 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline DanB

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2009, 09:14:04 PM »
Coal and its effects


Hmmm, let's see,   heat?  fuel?  warmth?  the industrial revolution?
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Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2009, 09:15:08 PM »
^Mercury pollution, 50% of particle pollution in the US, 40% of CO2 emissions in the US, second to automobiles for Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions, sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, acid rain (when NOx and SO2 combine), mountain top and strip mining...

Memo details TVA editing of response to ash spill
By Duncan Mansfield, AP, January 23, 2009

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The massive coal ash spill at a Tennessee Valley Authority power plant last month wasn't so much "catastrophic" as it was a "sudden, accidental release."

That's according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press that was prepared by TVA's 50-member public relations staff for briefing news media the day after the disaster at the Kingston Fossil Plant, about 40 miles west of Knoxville.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:07:04 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline DanB

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2009, 11:43:27 PM »
http://www.astm.org/SNEWS/JULY_2004/jlg_jul04.html


ASTM Committee D05 on Coal and Coke

Celebrating 100 Years of Service to the Coal Industry

by Louis C. G. Janke, James A. Luppens, and Ronald D. Graham

Have you ever wondered, “What is the power behind the light switch?” A recent informal survey indicated that few people interviewed really have a reasonable concept of what powers the United States’ electric utility industry. When it was explained that the United States still depends heavily on coal for electricity, a common reply was, “We still burn coal in this country?”

Do you know what percentage of the United States’ electricity is produced from coal? Do you know which state ranks first in total coal consumption per year? Can you name the top five states in terms of coal production?

Some of the answers may surprise you. First, how much coal is actually used in the United States to generate electricity? From 1976 to 2002, electricity generated from coal actually grew from 46 percent of the nation’s total electrical output to 51 percent (see Figures 1 and 2).

The next surprise is in coal utilization. Texas, which has been synonymous with oil and gas, is the biggest user of coal, ranking first among the states in total coal consumption at over 99 million tons [90 x 106 metric tons or 90 teragrams (Tg)] per year. In consumption, Indiana follows Texas at 69 million tons [63 Tg]. (1)

Finally, based on 2002 statistics (in millions of tons), the top five states ranked in order of total coal production were Wyoming (373.5 [338.8 Tg]), West Virginia (150.6 [136.6 Tg]), Kentucky (123.4 [111.9 Tg]), Pennsylvania (68.7 [62.3 Tg]), and Texas (45.2 [41.0 Tg]). (2)

Energy from coal is the answer to the very first question, “What is the power behind the light switch?” Energy from coal powers lights, recharges electric car batteries, runs electric shavers and hedge trimmers, turns on computers, and drives our assembly lines. Coal is what we take for granted every time we flip a switch.

The U.S. Coal Industry

It is estimated that the United States possesses 25 percent of the world’s known accessible and minable coal reserves, (3) making it the “Saudi Arabia” of coal. With an average production on the order of 500 million tons [450 Tg] per year, coal served as an integral component of the U.S. gross domestic product from 1900 to the1950s. Although it is not well known, production through the later decades of the 20th century on into the new millennium skyrocketed to near 1.1 billion tons [1000 Tg or 1 x 109 metric tons] a year to help meet U.S. domestic and industrial energy demands (see Figure 2).

Current U.S. energy consumption is on the order of 98.1 quadrillion Btu [103.5 x 1018 joules or 103.5 EJ] per year. With production of over 1 billion tons [900 Tg] a year, coal supplies 22.7 quadrillion Btu [23.9 EJ] or about 23 percent of all U.S. energy needs. (4) To put this in perspective, current coal production is sufficient to operate the equivalent of about 420 power plants (750 megawatts each) 24 hours a day. Coal is a critical component for manufacturing steel and cement, the two greatest elements of the U.S. infrastructure. Coal is also used to generate over 50 percent of all electricity the United States produces today. Without coal and a thorough understanding of its chemistry and uses, the United States would not have achieved and could not sustain its present status as the wealthiest, most heavily industrialized nation on earth.

Most of the valuable coal seams in the United States originate from two main geologic periods. The valuable Appalachian Basin bituminous coals, which include almost all of our metallurgical grade coals, originated from swamps formed some 270 to 350 million years ago, before dinosaurs roamed the earth. The lignite and sub-bituminous coals of the western United States, including the vast reserves of Powder River Basin coals, originated some 45 to 65 million years ago, on the heels of the dinosaurs’ extinction.

The development of U.S. coal reserves goes hand-in-hand with the industrial revolution. Prior to the 1890s, wood was the dominant source of energy. In the early 1900s, energy consumption from coal, a more concentrated and consequently more efficient source of energy, surpassed that from wood, and this fact greatly accelerated the development of the economy. Coal production paralleled U.S. productivity, decreasing dramatically during the Great Depression and recovering only with the beginning of World War II. In 1917, 33 million tons of coal [30 Tg] were burned annually. Today, that figure is over 830 million tons [750 Tg]. Coal consumption by the steel and cement industries, which was 3.34 million tons [3.03 Tg] in 1880, stabilized at 79.3 million tons [71.9 Tg] in 1951.

During the past 100 years, ASTM International has developed a world-class standards development forum that has allowed Committee D05 on Coal and Coke to work in concert with the coal industry worldwide to implement standards that have provided significant technological, economic, and productivity benefits. These standards have played a pivotal role in driving the U.S. economy to its preeminent position in the world today. Current estimates forecast that the U.S. coal resource base could supply an integral component of energy demands for at least another century; there will be a continued need for ASTM standards that promote the effective utilization of coal.

Development of ASTM Committee D05

To promote the growth and sustain the vitality of the U.S. coal industry, ASTM Committee D05 has worked hand-in-hand with the coal, utility, and steel industries to establish standards for the sampling, preparation, and testing of coal. The ASTM Committee on Coal and Coke, designated as D05, was formed in 1921 as a merger of three separate groups: Committee J on Standard Specifications for Foundry Coke, which had been formed in 1904; Committee O on Standard Specifications for Coal; and Committee E04 on Sampling and Analysis of Coal.

Joseph A. Holmes, who was instrumental in getting the U.S. Congress to establish the U.S. Bureau of Mines in 1910, was the first chair of Committee O. Committee E04 worked jointly with the American Chemical Society to develop standard methods for the proximate analysis of coal under the chairmanship of Professor Samuel W. Parr and W. A. Noyes. A. C. Fieldner was the first chair of D05 and served continuously in that capacity from 1920 until 1948.

Since the 1921 merger, D05 has worked diligently to promote a defined focus and purpose. The growth in membership from around 60 to over 200 today coincided with the rapid growth in productivity of the coal industry. The Committee currently has jurisdiction over 70 standards. These standards have played and continue to play a preeminent role for the effective industrial utilization of coal from all regions of the United States for both electricity and metallurgical coke production.

As coal production increased through the 20th century, the need for uniform, rapid, efficient, and reliable practices for coal assessment became a critical factor in the marketplace.

D05 Develops with the Coal Industry

Around 1920, the first pulverized coal fired boiler was developed. Steam generator sizes expanded rapidly; the first pulverized coal unit capable of producing 1,000,000 pounds of steam per hour [284 megawatts (MW)] was brought on-line in 1929. In 1966, a unit was installed at TVA’s Bull Run Station capable of 6,400,000 pounds of steam per hour [1820 MW], serving a turbine capable of producing 900 MW. To meet the increased capacity demands of larger and larger steam generators, ball mills were introduced in 1933. To optimize the use of this new technology, a new test method, ASTM D 409, Standard Test Method for Grindability of Coal, was developed by D05 for determining the ease of mill throughput.

In 1927, due to the existence of many coal seams of economic interest and of varying nature, a joint committee of ASTM and the American Standards Association was formed for the classification of coal. This combined group was responsible for the production of ASTM D 388, Classification of Coals by Rank, originally published in 1934. The standard is accepted worldwide as the reference standard for coal classification. During the 1960s and 1970s, Committee D05 introduced terminology standards for the description of coal seams. Further intensive efforts from the late 1970s to the present day have resulted in improvement of these terminology standards and the development of practices for the collection of coal samples, the latter culminating in the publication of an ASTM Special Technical Publication on core sampling in 1990 (see Figure 3). This effort prompted the development of more comprehensive and effective standards for the determination of total and bed moisture in coal. Collectively, these initiatives have provided a uniform and reliable basis for the classification of coal reserves.

In 1950, in conjunction with the Edison Electric Institute, D05 commenced a decade-long study on coal-sampling methods. In 1962, this major effort resulted in the publication of D 2013, Standard Method of Preparing Coal Samples for Analysis, and, in 1963, D 2234, Standard Method for Collection of a Gross Sample of Coal. In response to the ongoing needs of the industry, D05 continued to develop reliable means of quickly but efficiently sampling large quantities of coal being shipped by rail, barge, and ship. D05 has developed standards for on-line analysis for the rapid determination of coal characteristics. D05 has also developed standards for in-situ determination of coal stockpile density by nuclear methods and volume by photogrammetric methods. Together, these two standards allow industry to manage coal inventories in a more economic and efficient manner.

From the 1970s to the present, the U.S. coal industry has experienced a significant geographical shift in production, from the Appalachian and Illinois Basin to the Powder River Basin of Wyoming where coal seams up to 100-feet [30 m] thick dominate the countryside. Not only is production from these thick reserves unusually economical, but also the low sulfur coal mined there meets the clean air act requirements without the use of intensive coal cleaning technology that can be necessary to produce compliant fuel from some eastern steam coal reserves.

As the industry migrated westward, D05 had a duty to assure the users of its standards that test methods, written for coals produced predominantly from the Appalachian Basin, are equally applicable for testing lower-rank coals. Where necessary, D05 modified test methods, conducted ruggedness testing and interlaboratory studies that included western coals, and cautioned users of methods how to avoid degradation of these coals while using the standards. However, Powder River Basin coals bring their own set of utilization concerns. These coals can be high in soluble sodium, a major contributor to fouling, which is a condition that can affect heat rates for boilers. Committee D05 has worked with the coal and utility industries in developing sampling and test methods that have been useful in determining heat rates, utilization characteristics, fouling and slagging indices, blending ratios, and other information pertinent to determining the applicability of a particular coal’s use in a particular boiler.

In order to handle and process the large volumes and variety of coals, it is necessary to develop rapid and reliable methods for screening coals for end use. It is no surprise that test methods, by far, comprise the largest volume of D05 standards. In the late 1970s and into the ’80s, D05 capitalized on the availability of new instrumentation with computerized operation and data-handling capabilities to address the need for greater productivity and bring about revolutionary alternatives for the classical standards that have served the coal industry for so many years. The first completely automated and computerized method was D 4239, Test Method for Sulfur by High Temperature Combustion. The committee extended this initiative through the 1980s and ’90s and into the present with the development of more automated standards for proximate analysis (D 5142, Test Methods for Proximate Analysis of the Analysis Sample of Coal and Coke by Instrumental Procedures), ultimate analysis (D 5373, Test Methods for Instrumental Determination of Carbon, Hydrogen, and Nitrogen in Laboratory Samples of Coal and Coke), and calorific value (D 5865, Test Method for Gross Calorific Value of Coal and Coke).

Through the 1980s and ’90s, Committee D05 also introduced coal and coke microscopy standards as practical and reliable tools for determining beneficial metallurgical properties. The initiatives will undoubtedly smooth the transition to direct reduced iron production and pulverized coal injection, newer technologies that are supplanting the use of coke and putting a new face on iron production in the United States.

Cleaner and More Efficient

With the passing of U.S. Public Law 104-113, the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995, which requires federal agencies to use U.S. private-sector standards development system whenever possible, D05 has taken a proactive role in the development of standards to measure and monitor elements and compounds of environmental concern in coal. Two new mercury standards, ASTM D 6414, Test Method for Total Mercury in Coal and Coal Combustion Residues by Acid Extraction or Wet Oxidation/Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption, and D 6722, Test Method for Total Mercury in Coal and Coal Combustion Residues by Direct Combustion Analysis, as well as a new chlorine standard, ASTM D 6721, Test Method for Determination of Chlorine in Coal by Oxidative Hydrolysis Microcoulometry, progressed from inception to full standards in less than two years. This not only speaks well of the depth of the technical expertise and the dedication of committee D05 and its members, but also of the procedural and technological advancements introduced by ASTM that have resulted in significant improvements in the process used for advancing credible and industrially-relevant standards without sacrificing the open and democratic due process system that is the hallmark of ASTM International.

The coal industry has seen a dramatic increase in efficiency over the last 100 years. The number of coal mines has steadily decreased from peaks in the 1920s when 11,700 mines employed 700,000 miners. By 2000, there were only about 71,500 miners working in about 1,450 mines. While the number of mines and of miners has decreased, the productivity of America’s mines has never been higher. The average production has increased from 0.1 tons [0.46 Mg] per man-hour in 1920 to 7.02 tons [6.37 Mg] by the year 2000. The effectiveness of the industry-driven voluntary consensus standards system promoted by ASTM has paralleled these trends in domestic coal production. Continuous development of new standards and improvements to existing standards has been a fundamental driving force within Committee D05. Standards such as D 5192, Practice for Collection of Coal Samples from Core; D 2961, Test Method for Single-Stage Total Moisture Less than 15% in Coal Reduced to 2.36-mm (No. 8 Sieve) Topsize; D 6414, Test Method for Total Mercury in Coal and Coal Combustion Residues by Acid Extraction or Wet Oxidation/Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption; D 6722; as well as the consolidation and improvements of the calorimeter methods into one standard, D 5865, Test Method for Gross Calorific Value of Coal and Coke, have all been undertaken in response to coal industry needs. ASTM D05 standards have contributed to the advancement of a more environmentally conscious, efficient and cost-effective coal industry.

An International Committee

A key contributor to the openness of the ASTM process is that membership in the task groups that formulate the standards is not limited to only ASTM members. An indication of the commitment of D05 to promote an open and free market for world coal trade over the last 10 years is reflected by task groups that have included participation from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Committee D05 laid the groundwork for international contributions to and participation in the development of ASTM standards by actively participating in the deliberations of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 27 on Solid Fuels since the 1950s. In the early years, D05 benefited from participation in TC 27 through the exchange of information and by taking part in studies involving such countries as the United Kingdom, where coal maintained a position of industrial prominence. As coal came to play a less important role in the U.K., countries such as Australia and South Africa came to the table and contributed to significant improvements to ASTM standards such as D 409. More recently, nations such as China, India, Korea and Russia, which are moving to establish viable economies that rely on coal as an economic building block, have benefited from the significant technical contributions advanced by Committee D05 over the past 100 years.

Vision for the Next 100 Years

If predicted looming natural gas shortfalls materialize, the demand for coal may accelerate as evidenced by a recently announced conference, “Prepare for the Resurgence of Coal-Fired Generation.” Globally, coal production, coal-production capacity, and coal use have increased significantly over the past few decades. With all of these increases, global warming and other environmental issues have become a concern of many groups and individuals and many developing nations want assurance that they will have the opportunity to participate in the higher level of living that they see resulting from increased industrialization.

Certainly one of the big challenges for the coal industry is reduction of its environmental footprint. To that end, U.S. President George W. Bush announced in early 2003 that the United States would sponsor a $1 billion, 10-year demonstration project to create the world’s first coal-based, zero-emissions electricity and hydrogen power plant. As new technologies for mitigating the environmental effects of coal utilization emerge, there will undoubtedly be requirements for additional coal standards development.

Collaborative efforts with industry, research agencies, the government, and other coal trading nations have made the first 100 years of D05’s existence rewarding. The committee is proud of its accomplishments. We are convinced that the challenges of the next 100 years — not the least of which will be to find ways of utilizing coal to meet energy and material demands in a way that sustains and revitalizes the quality of life and the environment — will be met by those who are attracted to an organization with such a commendable heritage.

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Offline Sherman Cahal

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2009, 12:03:16 AM »
Sources from the article:

National Coal Industry (a given);
Energy Information Administration, headed by a former coal company executive.

Offline moonloop

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Re: Coal and its effects
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2009, 11:08:37 AM »
Burning Coal at Home Is Making a Comeback
By TOM ZELLER Jr. and STEFAN MILKOWSKI
Published: December 26, 2008

SUGARLOAF, Pa. — Kyle Buck heaved open the door of a makeshift bin abutting his suburban ranch house. Staring at a two-ton pile of coal that was delivered by truck a few weeks ago, Mr. Buck worried aloud that it would not be enough to last the winter. “I think I’m going through it faster than I thought I would,” he said. Aptly, perhaps, for an era of hard times, coal is making a comeback as a home heating fuel.

Tom Zeller Jr. reported from Sugarloaf, Pa., and Stefan Milkowski from Fairbanks, Alaska.

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/27/business/27coal.html?scp=1sq=burning%20coal%20to%20heat%20your%20house&st=cse
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 04:34:55 PM by moonloop »

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