The Western US’s Largest Coal Plant Has A ‘Fighting Chance’ Of Survival

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Waterbaby

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http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/27/t...coal-plant-has-a-fighting-chance-of-survival/


View of the Navajo power generating station near Page, Arizona August 12, 2012. REUTERS/Charles Platiau (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENERGY TRAVEL) - RTR3BSAT
The Western US’s Largest Coal Plant Has A ‘Fighting Chance’ Of Survival

Michael Bastasch
6:21 PM 06/27/2017

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke hailed the Navajo Nation’s ratification of a new lease with operators of the largest coal-fired power plant in the western U.S., staving off its immediate decommissioning.

Zinke said the action gave Navajo and Hopi workers a “fighting chance” to keep their jobs at the coal plant and the mine that supplies it.

Navajo Nation ratified a lease agreement with operators of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) Tuesday to extend power plant and mining operations through 2019. This gives the Department of the Interior, which co-owns the plant, and other stakeholders time to find ways to keep the NGS viable.

“Since the first weeks of the Trump Administration, one of Interior’s top priorities has been to roll up our sleeves with diverse stakeholders in search of an economic path forward to extend NGS and Kayenta Mine operations after 2019,” Zinke said in a statement.


“This Navajo Nation Council’s endorsement of a new lease gives NGS and Kayenta Mine workers a fighting chance and gives Navajo and Hopi economies a moment to regroup for the work ahead,” Zinke said.

NGS and the Kayenta mine that supplies it with coal are important sources of jobs for hundreds of Navajo and Hopi workers. The aging coal plant has struggled to compete with low-priced natural gas and mounting environmental regulations.

NGS is jointly owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Salt River Project, the Arizona Public Service Commission, Tucson Electric Power Company and NV Energy.

Utilities that own NGS voted in mid-February to divest from the plant, opting to build natural gas plants. The new Navajo Nation lease gives the Trump administration another two years to find other owners for the plant.


The Trump administration, however, could also end up buying out other NGS shareholders, or it could work to keep utilities on board. If no new agreement is reached, the plant will be de-commissioned after 2019.

Either way, it’s a hard sell given the costly environmental compliance NGS faces going forward.

NGS operators agreed with Environmental Protection Agency to shut down one of its coal generators after 2019 and add costly emissions control equipment by 2030. The plant already added $1 billion worth of environmental controls in the last two decades.

The Interior Department held talks in March to discuss a plan for NGS going forward. The agency is supposed to act in the best interest of the tribes, and officials don’t want the plant to close and put more than 800 tribal members out of work.

“Now, NGS operations can continue while stakeholders examine opportunities for a new operating partner to extend the life of the plant beyond its original 50-year lease,” Zinke said.
 

Dale

Well-Known Member
Coal and natural gas, along with nuclear need to be advanced, as wind and solar have been pathetic failures so far.
 

bubba

Well-Known Member
Are you kidding me. Fighting chance? Wake up!


The big problem here is not finding a new owner for the NGS or Kayenta but new customers as the single largest customer walked away from the NGS and Kayenta and is not ever coming back. Add to this that a remaining owner of the NGS wants out to purchase power not from his own NGS plant but on the open market for less money. Other utilities are under massive PR pressure by their customers to not provide coal power and these utilities are buying new natural gas and renewable power contracts and running down the coal clock too. Coal is dead. Think 8-track tape dead. Think lead paint dead. Just think dead.

If you want to understand why coal is dead then look at the simple new facts of the issue. Coal is the victim and natural gas is the problem. Natural gas is the byproduct of fracking, natural gas is in huge abundance and it's inventory is only increasing which is causing its price to continue to drop. Natural gas has HALF the emissions of coal and is a lot cleaner to harvest, transport and consume and is 25% cheaper per energy unit equivalent. Customers like natural gas a lot and want natural gas over coal and there is your big problem, coal, just like 8-tracks and Cadilacs is running out of customers.

Add to this wind and solar renewable subsidies and natural gas will in time replace coal as the the victim and the cycle continues. Coal had its place in building a great country but now the place for coal is in the ground.

The best place for the current NGS and Kayenta workers to go is where they are wanted and needed and that is working for the new wind and solar companies that will soon pop up on the res and unlike a huge billion dollar power plant with distant suited owners, wind and solar is scalable so the Navajo Nation will have the opportunity to own these assets not third party investors that do not care about anyone but themselves. Solar has the opportunity to set the Navajo people free, and it will because the NGS is dead and everyone knows it who wants to.

The entire USA coal industry has fewer than 80,000 workers total and declining, with most job losses due to single operator mega machines and automation. The solar industry has over 1 million jobs and growing.

If you think Trump is going to rebirth the coal industry you are greatly mistaken and have been played a fool.
 

dallas massie

Well-Known Member
Great for news for the Navajo and Hopi , but when it says Trump administration could end up buying out other shareholders , that not Trump, it is U.S tax payers . We are going to end up paying the bill.
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
The very coal miners that get coal out of the ground know coal is dying so why doesn't the administration just quit with rhetoric and move on? Votes maybe. Until some technology can let coal burn clean,let it lie. This is not about the enviromentalists, it is about the market.
 

Goblin

Well-Known Member
A free market is supremely good at one thing and that is deciding what is and is not viable on this blue marble of ours. The market forces in regards to all energy sources in general and coal in particular have been severely perverted by misguided ideology.upload_2017-6-28_11-14-52.png

A perfect example of this is Wind and Solar. At this point in their life cycles they are still economically laughable unless kept on artificial life support. A free market left to it's own design would resolve that situation quickly. It would not necessarily be kind but it would be effective.

In the mean time, spare us the vehement lectures that attempt to force a conclusion. After all, this isn't Global Warming scare mongering so relax.

To turn a phrase, Coal will die naturally some day but the reports of it's death have been greatly exaggerated.

After so many years of attempting to annihilate the coal industry I am surprised that it is still alive. That in itself may portend a longer life for coal which in turn will completely unhinge it's many enemies. Now who wouldn't just love that! It would be almost as good as watching the 2017 election night coverages on YouTube from the various networks.:D:p:D;)

Instead of performing premature eulogies our time would be better served advocating for a free market economy here in the United States at every opportunity.
 

John P Funk

Well-Known Member
Here we go again, Where's Goblin when you need him.;)
I love your Sticktuitiveness "Bubba", but the only reason coal is dying as an industry is because the Obama administrations EPA intentionally killed it. You say/believe the market is driving the move away from coal, but there are forces acting to hasten it's demise. It just doesn't make since to abandon a viable technology with existing infrastructure, in exchange for a replacement that is less efficient and more expensive(solar/wind). Did you not even read the threads from the last post on this subject? Large scale solar that could "set the Navajo people free" is pie in the sky until we come up with some technology to store that energy for nighttime use. Modern coal plants burn far cleaner than those in countries like China and India, so it remains a relatively clean and cost effective generator of energy. I'll agree that Natural Gas is ready to step into the picture as a next step, and any new plants should be NG powered, but I don't see any good reason to kill this one, after all we're no longer tied to the Paris Climate Treaty.
 

GregC

Well-Known Member
Ya know, there are 24/7 alternatives to wind and solar. Hydro power (add 6 more dams to the Colorado river :)) and Geothermal, where 1 cubic ft. of water can be converted to 17,000 cubic ft. of steam! Until we get behind real alternative energy, it'll be just that, an alternative to real energy.
 

Goblin

Well-Known Member
On that related note of storing that energy for use when the sun don't shine and the wind don't blow......
  1. Super high tech batteries that companies like Tesla use for their Ponzi car scheme are possible but now here is the funny thing, not funny ha, ha but funny weird. Seems that making the Tesla battery spews out the equivalent carbon pollution of a driving a gas/diesel car for 8.2 years.....OK, OK that is funny ha, ha also. So maybe not a battery just yet. Ref article: "Tesla Car Batteries Not Remotely Green, Study Finds"

  2. Underground heat retrievable storage.....maybe but it is in it's infancy. A potential stumbling block, technology notwithstanding, is we still don't know how Matt Damon will feel about shoving enough heat underground to generate a city's electricity needs. Remember he and most of the lefty others kinda lost it over fracking.

  3. Super Capacitance .....again maybe but this is again in it's very infancy. One possible hurdle would the danger of storing the energy to power an entire city with volatile capacitance. Imagine the energy blast if it discharged all at once which caps are wont to do. Just a thought.
I'm sure that someday things like this might work......or someday it will be something else. If we force it and mandate it we will certainly up our chances of being wrong astronomically. Since someone mentioned the 8-track tapes I will give three examples of a free market in action at the best possible price. These might also be thought of as a Who's Who of REALLY BAD business decisions.
  1. Both VHS and Beta videotape systems were developed by Sony. Sony sold the VHS system and went with Beta. Within two years Beta was headed to the trash heap of history and a VHS tape player was in every home.
  2. Guess who developed the quartz watch movement? The Swiss who then promptly sold the rights to the Japanese. The rest is history. The Swiss watch industry, once at the forefront of timepieces is a mere shadow of itself having been replaced by the quartz movement.
  3. IBM sold their DOS operating system to Bill Gates and decided to NOT concentrate on the home PC market and instead concentrate on mainframe computers. After all, the home computer market would go nowhere.
The market will decide but there will be casualties.

Now I have to get back to my extensive collection of 8-track tapes
and even 4-track tapes...remember those? upload_2017-6-28_12-35-57.png
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
Actually for the naysayers - take a look at the meeting at the WH today with Energy Secretary Perry and Interior Secretary Zinke as well as Native American Tribal leaders - the Tribal leaders are anxious to tap into their tied up wealth under the soil.. and what the plan is an all the above policy, we are now shipping coal, oil and natural gas out of the country - as since it turns out our natural oil and gas reserves come from between the crust and mantle and not dead dinosaurs..... the plan is to use the wealth created from our natural reserves to fund research and development of wind, solar and other alternative energy sources... instead of passing a boondoggle stimulus to pay off friends who take the money and file bankruptcy [aka Solyndra and many others] our export income will be driven back into the economy in research and development for what works! This is the first time since 1953 America has been in a position to export energy. And -- don't forget, for those solar fans - the President wants to make the wall a solar wall - actually given it is in the sunniest areas of the entire country - a brilliant idea. But contrary to the naysayers - the Tribal Leaders are 1000% on board with this current plan.... and the two-year respite for this plant will allow the tribes - with the help of the President, Perry and Zinke will be able to start cashing in on their natural resources nationwide [not just the Navajo/Hopi Tribes, but them, too].

Also read up on DAPL - the Native American Tribes have been desperate for quite a while to get energy development going on their lands, but they were being stopped by the Government as well as some in the tribes being hung up on their ancient ways and being anti-development. Their leaders are convincing their people the ancient ways and preserving tradition can go hand-in-hand with thoughtful development of resources. This is the third time in 6 months the Tribal Leaders have had a one-on-one at the WH... this is a first!!!! The American Government has infringed on the way they have been allowed to manage their own lands for generations, this President is letting them have a say in how they want to manage their lands and his cabinet understand this is a priority. This President promised the Tribes would have a seat at the table in his government and he is keeping that promise.....

One other thing - In light of the mess so-called environmentalists left at Dakota - costing millions to clean up the garbage they left behind before the snow melted and it contaminated the rivers and lakes - and the mess left just this week at another gathers - I am not going to take their environmentalism for anything other than an expensive nuisance.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
The very coal miners that get coal out of the ground know coal is dying so why doesn't the administration just quit with rhetoric and move on? Votes maybe. Until some technology can let coal burn clean,let it lie. This is not about the enviromentalists, it is about the market.
Actually, far from dying...... in fact China is buying coal from us now instead of NK and Zinke unleased a huge swath of Utah land for coal mining in March. The Navajo have a lot of wealth in coal and natural gas under their feet and they want to unlock it as well.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
The world’s biggest coal users — China, the United States and India — have boosted coal mining in 2017.

Mining production through May is up by at least 121 million tons, or 6 percent, for the three countries compared to the same period last year.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Coal consumption will continue to increase, mainly driven by Asian countries ... We’re seeing a recovery starting this year and an increase until the mid-2020s..

-Xizhou Zhou, a senior energy analyst with IHS Markit based in Beijing,.
 

Dale

Well-Known Member
Solar will require massive taxpayer subsidies forever, and eventually we will refuse. Wind kills birds! Intelligent minds will eventually prevail, now that the America hating traitor is gone. OOPS, apparently we are still paying for Secret Service protection for the Muslim Anti American recently departed occupant of the White House's $multi billion$$ vacations!!!!
 

Dale

Well-Known Member
Early last year, BNSF Railway laid off thousands of workers. Most were due to the drop in the coal business. Guess what? They are ALL back to work!
And......we are hiring again :cool:
Hope the leftists in Spokane do not get their initiative to ban coal trains passed. I think a lot of them pass through Spokane?
 

Goblin

Well-Known Member
Are you kidding me. Fighting chance? Wake up!
... Add to this that a remaining owner of the NGS wants out to purchase power not from his own NGS plant but on the open market for less money. Other utilities are under massive PR pressure by their customers to not provide coal power and these utilities are buying new natural gas and renewable power contracts and running down the coal clock too. Coal is dead. Think 8-track tape dead. Think lead paint dead. Just think dead.

If you want to understand why coal is dead then look at the simple new facts of the issue. Coal is the victim and natural gas is the problem. Natural gas is the byproduct of fracking, natural gas is in huge abundance and it's inventory is only increasing which is causing its price to continue to drop. Natural gas ... is 25% cheaper per energy unit equivalent...
Posting just the most relevant excerpt of the whole article below. This pretty much says what anyone paying attention already knows, ecos notwithstanding, but, it's good to hear a scientist say it. For the full article, click the title.

Rich Trzupek: Real Energy Expert Destroys John Oliver’s Ignorant, Profanity-Laced Rant About Coal
...
Solar Energy Is the Wave of the Future

Oliver never explicitly says that, but it’s clearly a prominent subtext of his rant. Even the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum has gone solar! (Not really, but more on that later). Solar energy has its uses, but they are very limited and localized. Large-scale energy production using solar energy is completely infeasible for a variety of scientific reasons, including: the Sun doesn’t shine all the time, the energy-density of solar power is extremely low, clouds exist, storing energy – aside from hydraulic pump and store operations – are horrendously expensive, and a bunch of other scientific and economic realities.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the last national energy production forecast that the Energy Information Administration (EIA) came up with while Barack Obama was president:

Energy to be produced in the United States in 2017: fossil fuels, 77.4 percent; nuclear, 9.5 percent; hydro, 2.9 percent; renewables, 8.6 percent; other, 1.5 percent. Energy to be produced in 2050: fossil fuels, 76.8 percent; nuclear, 6.1 percent; hydro, 2.9 percent; renewables, 13.6 percent; other, 0 percent. This is not evidence of a hypothetical renewable wave; it’s proof of the reality of a renewable trickle.

Coal Is Being Displaced Because Natural Gas and Solar Power Are Less Expensive

Nice try, but no. That’s completely unsupportable. As of 2015, the last year that EIA published certified data, the average cost of coal was $2.22 per million BTU, while the average cost of natural gas was $3.23 per million BTU. Natural gas is cheaper than it has been in a very long time and will remain consistently so, but it can’t compete with coal in a truly free market. What about wind and solar? Without the disproportionately generous tax breaks and public-sector incentives those forms of generation receive, they wouldn’t even be in the conversation. The reality is natural gas is displacing coal for three reasons:


1. The Obama-era EPA adopted air-quality standards so incredibly stringent that no new coal-fired power plant could affordably meet them, and many an existing coal-fired power plant chose to shut down rather than add all the equipment that would be necessary to meet them. These air-quality standards are so stringent that if they were applied to ordinary citizens, they would prevent anyone from burning wood in a fireplace, operate a backyard barbecue, or have a camp fire. EPA knows enforcing such standards in your backyard would be very unpopular, so it hasn’t gone down the residential route –yet.

2. The Obama-era EPA promulgated new rules requiring older, less-efficient coal-fired power plants to install so much control equipment that it made more economic sense to retire those assets than to retrofit them with new technologies that are marginally more effective but much more expensive.

3. Environmental NGOs like the Sierra Club and the National Resources Defense Council effectively gamed the permit system, submitting thousands of public comments and Freedom of Information Act requests that regulators were legally-bound to respond to. The sheer volume of those comments and information requests delayed projects (at best) and killed projects (most often) that would have resulted in the installation of new, modern, more-efficient, and cleaner coal-fired assets that would have replaced older units in a healthy, unfettered free market.
Dead. Think 8-track tape dead. Think lead paint dead. Just think dead. Dead, dead, dead, I mean really dead. Did I say dead yet? Sorry there is my sarcasm creeping back in.
Goblin
 
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