Thursday, November 14, 2019
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Thursday News: Gulf of Oman Oil Tanker Attack; “Every Member of...

by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, June 13. Oil Surges as Tankers in Gulf Suffer...

I Don’t Even Know What to Say About Jim Webb Anymore…

At this point, I guess I'm more sad and disappointed about Jim Webb than anything else. I mean, this was a guy who inspired...

Video: Rep. Donald McEachin Questions BOEM at Virginia Public Meeting on...

Great work by Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA04) as usual - do NOT allow oil drilling off Virginia's coast under any circumstances. McEachin Questioned BOEM at...

For Minorities and the Poor, “Cheap” Energy Comes at a High...

by Kendyl Crawford, cross posted from Power for the People VA Utilities and other energy companies often resist clean energy mandates and tighter environmental regulation,...

Arlington Unitarian Universalist Church Minister Provides Protective Witness at Standing Rock

Great to see this environmental and human rights activism from Rev. McEmrys of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington - putting his values into...

Lieutenant Governor Northam Urges Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to Avoid...

I'm very glad to see this from Lt. Governor Northam - thank you! Now we really need Gov. McAuliffe and our two U.S. Senators...

“Oil-spill fine, if any, to be negotiated between Virginia and Dominion...

Unless I'm reading the following (see below) wrong, the Code of Virginia (Article 11: Discharge of Oil Into Waters)  calls for potentially harsh civil -...

Video: Hillary Clinton Says She Will Oppose Offshore Oil Drilling Off...

I'm glad to hear this, as an oil spill in the Arctic would be a catastrophe, and an oil spill off Virginia's coast could...

McAuliffe becomes latest Democrat to support offshore drilling for oil and...

Cross-posted from that great revenue generator Richmond Progressive Examiner.

I won't be diplomatic about Democratic candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe's change of face regarding offshore oil drilling. In an about face that dovetailed both U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and Mark Warner's (Virginia) bill to overturn the federal hold on offshore drilling in coastal waters, McAuliffe expressed support for offshore drilling for oil.

Previously, McAuliffe expressed his support for exploratory drilling for natural gas, not oil. With his Democratic pals pushing to throw more oil and natural gas rigs into America's coastal waters, McAuliffe has adjudged that the political winds are ripe for a political change of face and a stab in the back to environmentally conscious Virginians who so ardently backed his candidacy.

"Terry believes we need to support coal workers, both through increased exports throughout the world, and workforce training to ensure that displaced workers can find new careers," McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin said. "The fact is, we need an all of the above energy policy that focuses on increasing renewable energy like wind and solar while supporting existing Virginia industries."

Support coal workers, WTF?! I have a bitter pill I'd like the coal industry and its employees to swallow: your time is up, so get over it and find jobs elsewhere.

Two Must-Read Stories on Appalachian Coal’s Bleak Future

Roaring Fork Headwaters, Wise County, Va.- Photo by Matt Wasson, Appalachian VoicesOver at Coal Tattoo, Ken Ward Jr. flags some real talk from a coal industry analyst:
Calling the uncertain future of Central Appalachian coal mining the "elephant in the room," industry consultant Alan Stagg said he expects mining in the high-cost region to cease in the next 10 to 20 years. Speaking at Platts Coal Marketing Days on Sept. 21, Stagg said producers in Central Appalachia need to accept that difficult physical mining conditions, combined with inescapable regulatory restrictions, will soon erase profitability.

"This is the elephant in the room. No one wants to acknowledge that reserve depletion is profound," said Stagg, president and CEO of Stagg Resource Consultants Inc. "Mining conditions are difficult, and the cost to produce is high. That is a physical fact. It's not pleasant. Nobody wants to acknowledge it. That is a fact, and companies that ignore that fact will not do so well." [...]

"Are recent regulatory pressures a straw man in addressing problems facing the coal industry?" he asked. "Even if U.S. coal companies got all of their permits, what would they do with them? You cannot sell that coal at $40, $45 or even $50 per ton."

Blaming treehuggers is way easier than admitting to your investors, consumers & policy-makers that you picked all the low-hanging fruit decades ago & every remaining ton of coal (or barrel of oil) will be increasingly expensive to extract.

Meanwhile Reuters reports, "Asian economies, hungry for coal, stand to gain from a U.S. program meant to keep domestic power cheap and abundant." How much is at stake? "One analyst concludes that the federal government missed out on nearly $30 billion in revenue over the last three decades through poor management of the coal lease program." Talk about picking winners & losers! How much better off would we be right now if the government had let the free market decide our power sources & just cut $30 billion in checks directly to help Americans pay their power bills? Eliminating coal subsidies now would be a small step towards making things right - but right now, it sounds like coal companies need all the government welfare they can get.