CA-Black-Transp

Unsustainable Legacy Costs

Retirees from Patriot Coal Co., who are represented by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), are rallying against coal companies in St. Louis. Who couldn’t see this one coming five or six years ago when Peabody Energy decided to spin off Patriot Coal? A bankruptcy judge in St. Louis is now faced with making a very complex decision that could have widespread ramifications, not only for the UMWA, but for organized labor.

Read more ...

Looking Ahead to 2013, We Will Strive to Do Better

To edit a trade journal, one has to be a bit of a perfectionist and, if you are going to express an opinion, it helps to have thick skin. Similar to a carpenter that builds his own house, I can see every mistake in each edition. It’s frustrating, but it happens. I usually offer apologies in the form of direct email correspondence, but last month’s mistake was so egregious, I felt the need to apologize to the mine operator and Coal Age readers.

Read more ...

Labor Leaders Appeal to Obama

During late November, union leaders sent a letter to President Obama congratulating him on his win and asking him to treat coal fairly. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled to issue a final New Source Performance Standard for Greenhouse Gas Emissions during December. If enacted without any changes, they reminded the president that all new base-load power plants would be forced to abandon coal in favor of natural gas.

Read more ...

Let’s Move On, Try to Stay Positive

U.S. voters elected President Obama for four more years and the coal industry’s hope for change in Washington were dashed. Domestic energy security was obviously not the highest priority for the majority. Dwelling on why is not helpful. Luke Popovich at the National Mining Association (NMA) sums it up well in his column this month (See Dateline Washington, p. 14) The U.S. coal industry needs to try and stay positive. At this point, U.S. coal operators have three strong talking points: an improving safety performance, record coal exports, and better market conditions on the horizon.

Read more ...

Obama’s Got to Go

Thumbing through this month’s edition, readers are going see some troubling signs and all roads lead to the White House. The News opens this month with two stories, which set the tone for the current state of the industry: the National Mining Association (NMA) defeats costly rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Alpha Natural Resources will eliminate 1,200 jobs in the next six months.

Read more ...