Archive for August, 2017

A tugboat Signet Enterprise with its crew — later rescued — is partially submerged near a refinery in Port Aransas, Texas, on Aug. 26, 2017.
Uncategorized

Harvey victims face toxic pollution as hurricane recovery begins

PORT ARTHUR, TX — “Texas communities that have long experienced health problems from nearby oil refineries and chemical plants are now facing the fossil fuel industry’s longer-term impacts: storms made more severe by climate change and the painful recovery process that follows their landfall — a recovery made far worse by […]

FirstEnergy Corp. plans to retire units 1 through 4 at the seven-unit W.H. Sammis coal plant in Stratton, Ohio, in May 2020. Executives at FirstEnergy and Ohio coal producer Murray Energy have tried unsuccessfully to get the U.S. Department of Energy to invoke an emergency order that would keep FirstEnergy's coal plants online.
Coal / Energy / FirstEnergy

Experts: DOE had no choice but to reject lifeline for FirstEnergy coal units

NEW YORK, NY — “The U.S. Department of Energy’s decision to rebuff pleas for immediate action to preserve a fleet of FirstEnergy Corp. unregulated coal plants was not hugely surprising to industry observers, who said the agency likely did not want to pre-empt current procedures amid industry stakeholder and legal […]

DOE report blames natural gas for closures
Coal / Energy

DOE report blames natural gas for closures

WASHINGTON, DC — “A long-awaited Energy Department staff report on electricity markets and reliability singles out natural gas — not renewables or environmental regulations — as the leading driver of coal plant closures in this decade, challenging the Trump administration’s case for saving coal. ‘The biggest contributor to coal and […]

The Kemper County coal plant in Mississippi, which had to abandon its carbon capture efforts this year because of cost overruns. Credit Josh Haner/The New York Times
Coal

What ‘Clean Coal’ is — and isn’t

WASHINGTON, DC — “The term ‘clean coal’ was popularized in 2008 by coal industry groups, at a time when Congress was contemplating climate change legislation. While the term is deliberately vague, it is often understood to mean coal plants that capture the carbon dioxide emitted from smokestacks and bury it […]

A coal country dispute over an alleged Trump promise unmet
Coal

A coal country dispute over an alleged Trump promise unmet

WASHINGTON, DC — “The Trump administration has rejected a coal industry push to win a rarely used emergency order protecting coal-fired power plants, a decision contrary to what one coal executive said the president personally promised him. The Energy Department says it considered issuing the order sought by companies seeking relief […]

The Aufdenkamp family lives in Akron, which is listed as an area with high risk to particle pollution.
Air Quality / Renewable Energy

This region of Ohio ranks among the worst in country for risk of breathing problems

AKRON — “State lawmakers are gearing up for another round in the fight over renewable energy mandates. While opponents say they’re a financial burden, supporters say they help cut down on air pollution, which then improves respiratory health. There’s a part of Ohio where the risk for experiencing breathing problems […]

Standard & Poor's has downgraded the bond rating of FirstEnergy Solutions, the unregulated subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., because it believes the company will file for bankruptcy protection before 2018. S&P's in the same week raised its outlook for parent company FirstEnergy because it believes the corporation will sell off or somehow move its power plants into a regulated company (Plain Dealer file).
FirstEnergy

FirstEnergy Solutions downgraded on bankruptcy expectation, FE parent seen as stable

CLEVELAND — “Standard & Poor’s has further lowered its ratings for bonds sold by FirstEnergy Solutions because it believes the company’s negotiations with creditors is a first step toward its seeking bankruptcy protection. At the same time, S&P has revised its outlook for parent company FirstEnergy Corp. from negative to […]

Activist Larry Gibson looking over a ridge at the Kayford Mountain Mountaintop Removal site.
Coal / Mountaintop Removal

Coal mining health study is halted by Interior Department

WASHINGTON, DC — “The Interior Department has ordered a halt to a scientific study begun under President Obama of the public health risks of mountaintop-removal coal mining. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which was conducting the study, said in a statement Monday that they were ordered to […]

Will the U.S. ever build another big coal plant?
AEP / Climate Change / Coal / Energy

Will the U.S. ever build another big coal plant?

The coal industry is contracting as plants retire and utilities replace them with natural gas and renewables WASHINGTON, DC — “About 16 percent of the U.S. coal fleet has retired in the past five years, but don’t expect major new coal-fired plants to fill that void. The federal government counts […]

State regulators approved a plan to help subsidize the Davis-Besse Plant in Ottawa County and other power plants across Ohio by having customers act like investors.
Energy / FirstEnergy

Kasich not backing bailout for Ohio nuclear plants

Governor says FirstEnergy needs to figure out how to keep facilities operating OREGON — “Gov. John Kasich said Monday that he can’t see supporting a proposed financial rescue that FirstEnergy Corp. maintains is needed to keep alive the state’s two aging nuclear plants. He said it’s up to the utility to […]