Category: Coal

Coal in China: The good, the bad and the ugly

The LNP arguments about not being contributors to the world’s CO2 emissions are rather pathetic. By our exports we are contributors to the largest global emitters.

there is no denying the ugly. As is true almost everywhere else, coal goes hand-in-hand with corruption. The projects commissioned by provincial governments were characterised by crony capitalism, with officials being bribed to provide cheap capital and disregard environmental and safety requirements. Centrally directed anti-corruption campaigns have had limited effects, particularly in provinces like Shanxi and Inner Mongolia where coal mining and new power plants are concentrated. There is little we in Australia can do to influence China. Our only contribution at this point will be to manage a transition away from dependence on thermal coal as an export industry. Sadly, there is no sign that our leaders are willing, let alone able, to undertake this task.

Source: Coal in China: The good, the bad and the ugly

Clive Palmer’s campaign will have a body count

CAN YOU SMELL IT, dear reader? That faint but unmistakably putrid odour of dank memes and moral decay? It can only be one of two things: a truck full of rotting fish has crashed into the abandoned vomit factory, or Clive Palmer’s political grift is back on. Unfortunately, it’s the latter. The United Australia Party are already gearing up for the coming election as Palmer attempts to recapture the same triumph as 2019, where he spent $83 million to secure zero seats in either house. However, it contributed to the skin-of-the-teeth return of the coal-friendly Morrison Government who celebrated their win by immediately opening the Galilee Basin for coal mining.

Source: Clive Palmer’s campaign will have a body count

AGL’s record loss supercharges the end of coal in Australia, experts say

Coal

Energy giant AGL’s record loss has supercharged the end of coal in Australia and called into question the Morrison government’s commitment to expanding gas. That is the message from energy experts who are concerned that Australia’s heaviest emitters are not reading the writing on the wall and transitioning fast enough. The warning follows this week’s release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPPC) report, which found the Earth is just 10 years away from heating 1.5 degrees on top of pre-industrial levels. On Monday, the IPCC delivered a damning assessment of Australia’s role in climate change, warning the planet was heating at a faster-than-anticipated pace. Just days later, the country’s biggest emitter posted a multi-billion-dollar loss.

Source: AGL’s record loss supercharges the end of coal in Australia, experts say

Top 5 Ways Coal and Gasoline-Driven Ocean Change can Threaten Human Health

Ocean waters are now warmer, more acidic and hold less oxygen. Ocean ecosystems, already stressed from overfishing and pollution, face escalating risks of further degradation. With melting sea ice, rising sea levels and growing extreme weather events, human health and well-being now face many threats, most aimed at coastal populations.

Source: Top 5 Ways Coal and Gasoline-Driven Ocean Change can Threaten Human Health

Coal miners are on strike in Alabama for the first time in four decades, but cable news is silent | Media Matters for America

The logos for Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC and a question mark on a picket sign next to an outline of Alabama, figure of a worker in a mine, and the logo for the United Mine Workers of America

Union mine workers in Alabama are taking part in a historic strike, the first of its kind in four decades, accusing Warrior Met Coal of first exploiting its workers and now inspiring violence against them on the picket line. Freelance journalists are on the ground and local news has been covering the story from the start — yet more than three months into the strike, the historic labor action has not received so much as a single mention from CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC, according to a new analysis from Media Matters.

Source: Coal miners are on strike in Alabama for the first time in four decades, but cable news is silent | Media Matters for America

Falling cost of renewables creates coal test for federal government

As the price of renewable generation continues to fall, Scott Morrison is facing a test on energy policy as Barnaby Joyce backs new coal-fired power.

The regulator’s latest figures, to be released on Friday, reveal the flood of renewables and accelerating clean energy revolution have contributed to wholesale power price falls of up to 58 per cent, with the average prices falling below $70 a megawatt-hour for the first time since 2015. These price falls will add to the financial pain facing coal generators, which are more expensive to run than new wind and solar plants, and raise the risk of more coal-fired generators bringing forward their closure dates due to falling profitability.

Source: Falling cost of renewables creates coal test for federal government

Let the Vandalism Begin: Adani Strikes Coal – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In correspondence between an employee and Dow regarding a query by Guardian Australia on available aqueous sources, it was suggested “we do not give [the paper] anything more than what is already on the public record from us. They are clearly struggling to work out where we are getting our water, so I don’t think we give them any further clarity.” Dow approved of the measure.

Source: Let the Vandalism Begin: Adani Strikes Coal – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Approved coal mines will set world on track for over 4 degrees warming

liddel coal plant AEMO

What would Mathias Corman do if he were still with us “go for it”

Australia is the only OECD country to propose new coal mines on a scale so large that it will effectively double our emissions output, a new report has revealed. Global Energy Monitor’s report, released on Thursday, found Earth will surpass the four degrees of warming as outlined by the Paris climate agreement if all the world’s currently approved coal mines come to fruition. The report found coal producers are actively pursuing 2.2 billion tonnes per annum of new mine projects around the world.

Source: Approved coal mines will set world on track for over 4 degrees warming

Australia urged to drop coal and gas plans after global energy agency’s warning | Australia news | The Guardian

A smoke stack from steel works

Australian politicians and companies are being urged to abandon plans for new coal power, gas and oil investments after a major report by the world’s leading energy agency found fossil fuel expansion must end now if the planet is to address the climate crisis. The International Energy Agency (IEA) found a “narrow and extremely challenging” pathway to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – a target set by more than 100 countries, and which the Morrison government says it would “preferably” like to achieve – would require advanced economies such as Australia to have a zero-emissions electricity grid by 2035.

Source: Australia urged to drop coal and gas plans after global energy agency’s warning | Australia news | The Guardian

Malcolm Turnbull lashes out at right-wing media over coal advocacy

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has hit out at right-wing media outlets and former coalition colleagues for their advocacy for the fossil fuel sector, accusing them of fetishising coal.

Source: Malcolm Turnbull lashes out at right-wing media over coal advocacy

Where’s Wally: find your favourite taxpayer subsidy to the fossil fuel giants – Michael West

Fossil fuel subsidies

At almost $20,000 per minute, the Government spends more on fossil fuel subsidies than on the Australian Army, writes Rod Campbell.

Source: Where’s Wally: find your favourite taxpayer subsidy to the fossil fuel giants – Michael West

PM says mines and factories will help us reach zero net emissions

Prime Minister Scott Morrison appears to be testing the waters of a zero net emissions target by 2050, saying the climate goal will be “won” by Australia’s mining and energy sectors, factories and industry.

Source: PM says mines and factories will help us reach zero net emissions

In Australia, the Wangan and Jagalingou Nation Is Standing Against the Disastrous Carmichael Coal Mine

With support from the Australian government, the Adani corporation is pushing ahead with an environmentally destructive coal mine in Queensland. But the traditional Aboriginal owners of the land, the Wangan and Jagalingou nation, are waging a determined fight to stop them.

Source: In Australia, the Wangan and Jagalingou Nation Is Standing Against the Disastrous Carmichael Coal Mine

Victoria’s Yallourn coal power plant to close early as clean shift slashes prices

EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn coal-fired power plant in the Latrobe Valley.

The decision comes as a flood of new renewable energy has been driving down daytime power prices and piling enormous pressure on Australia’s fleet of ageing coal-fired power plants, which are far more expensive to operate and, increasingly, struggling to compete.

Victoria’s Yallourn coal power plant to close early as clean shift slashes prices

AGL is leading the way in harmful coal pollution

Not all they seem to be

AGL IS ONE OF Australia’s largest energy companies with a marketing budget to match, so that money can be chucked at everything from sports teams to community festivals. But all of the spin and sponsorship hides a grim truth. In the villainous league of Australia’s worst coal-burning polluters, AGL is the number one offender — literally, the worst of the worst.

AGL is leading the way in harmful coal pollution

Desperate Dalrymple: Brookfield dumps coal port on mums and dads in ASX float as Queensland moots bail-out – Michael West

Brookfield, Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, DBCT

They often call selling roadkill on the stock market as offering a share shouldn’t be better called a dead or dying parrot. Remember Howard’s 2nd tranche of Telstra shares?

The giant coal port Dalrymple Bay is up for sale. The financial engineering wizards from Brookfield want out. Brookfield’s debt is humungous, and green hydrogen is looming as a mortal threat to coking coal. They can’t offload it to professional investors, so they are now targeting the mums and dads for a float on the ASX, while even angling for a bail-out by the Queensland Government. Michael West reports on one of the trickiest financial juggling acts you will ever see.

Desperate Dalrymple: Brookfield dumps coal port on mums and dads in ASX float as Queensland moots bail-out – Michael West

ANZ to shed more than $700m in loans to thermal coal projects by 2024, leaked document reveals – Business – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A blue ANZ Bank sign is seen at a bank branch in Martin Place, Sydney.

The document marked “not for public disclosure” notes the banks recognises “the time has come” to make the transition
ANZ is the biggest lender to coal mining in Australia
The bank loans money to Whitehaven Coal, the operator of the controversial Maules Creek mine

via ANZ to shed more than $700m in loans to thermal coal projects by 2024, leaked document reveals – Business – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Bushfire disaster blame falls on coal companies

Globally in 2018, coal-fired electricity generation accounted for 30% of CO2 emissions and coal power facilities were the single largest contributor to the growth in emissions. Australia is the largest coal exporter in the world and is responsible for more than a quarter of world trade.

So, it is fair to say that coal is the single greatest driver of the climate emergency that has led to Australia’s catastrophic spring fire season.

via Bushfire disaster blame falls on coal companies

Palmer coal mine dwarfs Adani | The Saturday Paper

Image result for Waratah Coal on map

Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal has applied for a mining lease and environmental assessment to build a coalmine four times the size of Adani’s Carmichael mine in the Queensland Galilee Basin, reports Guardian Australia. If burned, coal in the west Queensland seam alone could shift the earth’s climate a third of the way to 2 degrees of warming. Palmer, who spent upwards of $60m in political advertising in the run up to the federal election, is also planning to build a coal-fired power station in the state. The news comes as Senator Malcolm Roberts accuses the Bureau of Meteorology of removing a graph that “goes against the narrative of the climate extremists” in a Senate estimates hearing. In the hearing Greens Senator Hanson-Young asked if the Morrison government had been briefed regarding “the climate emergency”. Climate Change and Energy Innovation deputy secretary Jo Evans replied that she does not use such terminology, preferring to “stick to a factual description”.

via Palmer coal mine dwarfs Adani | The Saturday Paper

Coalmine would take 3.3bn litres of water a year from Sydney catchment, agency warns | Australia news | The Guardian

Cordeaux Dam in NSW

At what cost has always been the question asked but never answered by the LNP (ODT)

via Coalmine would take 3.3bn litres of water a year from Sydney catchment, agency warns | Australia news | The Guardian

China and Japan see the future, and it’s not coal: why Australia will be stranded

Solar PV panels in China's Fujian province.

transitioning takes time, leadership and policy.

Germany’s transition to a low-carbon economy with its “Energiewende” has taken 30 years. It will decommission all its coal plants by 2038. Beijing has stated its intention to clean up its polluted cities, so it will increasingly turn to cleantech for its power supply to improve air quality.

Countries such as China ad Japan – our significant coal customers – see the future, and it’s not coal.

via China and Japan see the future, and it’s not coal: why Australia will be stranded

Adani beware: coal is on the road to becoming completely uninsurable

Screenshot_2019-08-13 Adani beware coal is on the road to becoming completely uninsurable.pngThe announcement by Suncorp that it will no longer insure new thermal coal projects, along with a similar announcement by QBE Insurance a few months earlier, brings Australia into line with Europe where most major insurers have broken with coal.

US firms have been a little slower to move, but Chubb announced a divestment policy in July, and Liberty has confirmed it will not insure Australia’s Adani project.

Other big firms such as America’s AIG are coming under increasing pressure.

Even more than divestment of coal shares by banks and managed funds, the withdrawal of insurance has the potential to make coal mining and coal-fired power generation businesses unsustainable.

via Adani beware: coal is on the road to becoming completely uninsurable

BHP faces fresh calls to quit Minerals Council ahead of pro-coal ad blitz | Business | The Guardian

Coal stockpiled at a terminal in Queensland

Where is that multi million $$ going to be spent? (ODT)

Mining giant BHP is facing renewed pressure to abandon its membership of the Minerals Council of Australia after it was revealed the lobby group is directly involved in an upcoming multimillion-dollar pro-coal advertising blitz.

BHP faces fresh calls to quit Minerals Council ahead of pro-coal ad blitz | Business | The Guardian

Adani arrest draws attention to Australia’s global harm

Let us be clear: as Australian domestic and export emissions head to 14-17 per cent of world emissions, we have a responsibility for many deaths from heatwaves, floods, storms and drought. Doctors regard Adani as a health issue and so will every other country.

Clearly, if the world is to avoid catastrophic global warming, all nations will need to share action and the recalcitrant ones will be targeted by those doing their humanitarian duty.

On being arrested, Clément said:

“That is very strange. It’s like they have something to hide, right? Because if you arrest a journalist and then you say to the journalist that he has to keep away from Adani’s sites, what’s happening on these sites?”

He may well ask the Queensland and Federal Governments what is happening. The approval processes allowing this mine are likely to become an educative international example of how not to manage the environmental, health, economic and industry needs of resource development.

via Adani arrest draws attention to Australia’s global harm

So … one single wind renewable project in that region creates, all by itself, 350 jobs … – » The Australian Independent Media Network

one single wind renewable project in that region creates, all by itself, 350 jobs. That number will fritter down once the construction phase has finished. But, there are 10 more solar projects approved and one more under consideration for the region. And we are talking about just one small Council in Nth Qld.

So … one single wind renewable project in that region creates, all by itself, 350 jobs … – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Election 2019: Sorting out balderdash

The Left-wing side is not exactly starved of media in all this commotion but does not match the engineered noise on the Right.
MEDIA STUNT PUSHING ADANIOutlets such as News Corp publications in the area are glad to assist with the noise-making, as demonstrated by the great newspaper “Adani” stunt held just before Easter, 18 April.

Both the Brisbane Courier Mail and Townsville Bulletin confronted candidates from the major parties demanding a declaration for or against the contentious Adani coal mine proposal (‘Coal shoulder — convoy not welcome: 15,000 reasons to move on mine’, CM, 18 April 2019, pp1,4-5; ‘Stop mine games: give us the real story’, TB, pp1-3).

All said, the national broadcaster continues setting a standard for its comprehensive news and transparent coverage and, as an independent but public agency, for its accountability to all. Imagine the one-sidedness if they sold the ABC to private buyers.

via Election 2019: Sorting out balderdash

Glencore to limit coal production, acquisitions over climate change activism

Coal in TRANSITION (ODT)

Glencore will instead focus on metals such as cobalt, nickel, vanadium and zinc, which are all key components of batteries as it targeted lower carbon industries as its customers.

“We aim to prioritise capital investment to grow production of commodities essential to the energy and mobility transition and to limit our coal production capacity broadly to current levels,” the company said as part of its results announcement.
Advertisement

via Glencore to limit coal production, acquisitions over climate change activism

Rocky Hill Mine Knocked Back On Climate Change Grounds

The proposed mine site.

The mine was first knocked back in December 2017, but Gloucester Resources Limited (GRL), the privately owned company behind the proposal, was granted the right to appeal the decision.

Summing up his judgement on Friday, Preston said: “In short, an open cut coal mine in this part of the Gloucester valley would be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Wrong place because an open cut coal mine in this scenic and cultural landscape, proximate to many people’s homes and farms, will cause significant planning, amenity, visual and social impacts.

“Wrong time because the greenhouse gas emissions of the coal mine and its coal product will increase global total concentrations of greenhouse gases at a time when what is now urgently needed, in order to meet generally agreed climate targets, is a rapid and deep decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. These dire consequences should be avoided.”

via Rocky Hill Mine Knocked Back On Climate Change Grounds

Power plant failure validates coal inefficiency

OOPS somebody has tripped and erased this inconvenient truth (ODT)

ONE OF AUSTRALIA”S newest and most efficient “supercritical” coal-fired power plants – CS Energy’s 750MW Kogan Creek Power Station on the Darling Downs in Queensland – tripped unexpectedly on the weekend, taking out 500MW of generation out of the mix for several hours on a hot Saturday afternoon.

Now, this is neither particularly unusual or even newsworthy, as Hugh Saddler has explained here, coal plants regularly “trip”, even the newest ones. And while inconvenient for the market operator and not great for wholesale prices, this rarely leads to customers losing power.

It does, however, go to the point that coal power – regularly and vigorously championed by the Federal Coalition as the only reliable source of “fair dinkum power” – is not necessarily all that reliable. Particularly not in the heat.

via Power plant failure validates coal inefficiency

Rising corruption and coal – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In this recent South African case we see yet another example of corruption between government connected people and the coal Industry. Trying to prop up a dying industry requires desperate measures and the hunt is on for pollies open to “incentives” to promote their product.

Australia finds itself in exactly this position and personally, I want to see a Federal ICAC in place to deal with the growing influence being exerted by the Coal industry because things are only going to get worse. Clearly the product is already too expensive and smoke appears to be seeping out from under under the door leading to the Coalition Party Room. I’m sure there’s a fire in there somewhere.

via Rising corruption and coal – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Transition time for coal | The Monthly

A new report by the University of NSW, commissioned by the CFMMEU, sketches two futures for the 8000 direct employees in Australia’s 23 coal-fired power stations: one is a just transition into new jobs with no forced redundancies, emulating Germany’s Ruhr district; the other is the entrenched poverty left by market disruption in coal districts like Appalachia in the US, where pointless ideological warfare takes the place of proper planning. Given that 10 coal-fired power stations have shut down in Australia without a transition plan since 2012, and the Coalition’s science-deniers are in charge of energy policy, still trying to stave off the inevitable decarbonisation, this country is on course for the latter.

Hazelwood was the prime example of what not do: the Greens argued for years for a just transition, but the major parties at state and federal level were in denial. Suddenly, when the time came, workers got short notice and power prices spiked across the National Energy Market, even though the closure was completely predictable. Now, says Sheldon, when AGL does the right thing and flags that it will close Liddell in 2022, “it gets canned for it”.

via Transition time for coal | The Monthly

Coal does not have an economic future in Australia

Renewables are stealing the march over coal in Australia, and the international outlook is for lower coal demand. Today the international Coal Transitions project released its findings, based on global coal scenarios and detailed case studies by teams in China, India, South Africa, Australia, Poland and Germany.

via Coal does not have an economic future in Australia

‘Is this a red line for us?’ $15b European trade deal doomed if Australia dodges Paris pledge

EU doesn’t think Australia 1% of the words emmissions are insignificant as the Conservatives do (ODT)

The Coalition’s internal climate war risks damaging the economy after Europe declared it would reject a $15 billion trade deal with Australia unless the Morrison government keeps its pledge to cut pollution under the Paris accord.

The EU bloc is Australia’s second largest trading partner, third largest export destination and second largest services market. The EU was also Australia’s largest source of foreign investment in 2017.

Mr Morrison – who is in Jakarta for trade talks – and Trade Minister Simon Birmingham declined to comment on the European Parliament’s position.

via ‘Is this a red line for us?’ $15b European trade deal doomed if Australia dodges Paris pledge

It’s Official: Burning Coal, Auto Exhaust & Air Pollution Making us Stupid

Increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by human activity are stripping away the nutritional benefits of staple food sources such as rice and wheat. The study, which was conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and released on Monday, also revealed that 175 million people could suffer from zinc deficiency and another 122 suffer from protein deficiency by 2050.

It also pointed out that more than a billion women and children may lose a large percentage of their iron intake, which could put them at risk of anemia and other illnesses.

Sam Myers, the main author of the study, said the research shows how man-made decisions related to “what we eat, how we move around and what we decide to buy,” is making our aliments less nutritional, “putting our health at risk.”

The study indicated that elevated atmospheric levels of CO2 have resulted in harvests with decreased nutritional value. It showed that areas with high levels of atmospheric CO2 resulted in harvests with three to seventeen percent less protein, iron and zinc.

via It’s Official: Burning Coal, Auto Exhaust & Air Pollution Making us Stupid