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The Future of Coal

How safe is Widows Creek? Waste ponds at TVA's Widows Creek steam plant sit over limestone formations that could allow toxic heavy metals to contaminate groundwater, say geological and environmental experts. Huntsville Times. 15 February 2009
Is America ready to quit coal? With concerns over climate change intensifying, electricity generation from coal, once reliably cheap, looks increasingly expensive. New York Times. 15 February 2009
Another agreement reached on sale of Healy power plant. Golden Valley Electric Association and the Alaska Industrial Development Export Authority have signed another agreement that calls for working out the sale of an experimental coal-fired power plant near Healy by Aug. 1. Associated Press. 15 February 2009
Court denies reviews of mine permits. For the fourth time in eight years, a federal appeals court has overturned a court ruling that would have required more thorough permit reviews of mountaintop removal coal-mining operations. Charleston Gazette. 14 February 2009
Small town in Illinois might win big. Hidden in the 1,073-page stimulus plan is an obscure phrase setting aside $1 billion for "fossil energy research" that lawmakers say is almost certain a down-payment on FutureGen. Wall Street Journal. 14 February 2009
Kanawha coal reserves miscalculated by $19 million. State tax officials have made a $19 million mistake in calculating the value of Kanawha County's coal reserves, and may have made similar mistakes across the state. Charleston Gazette. 14 February 2009
Appeals court overturns new mountaintop mine rules. A federal appeals court overturned a ruling Friday requiring more extensive environmental reviews of mountaintop removal, a form of coal mining in Appalachia that blasts away whole peaks. Associated Press. 14 February 2009
Coal industry wins a round on mining. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va. Friday overturned a 2007 decision that supported environmentalists’ claims that the Army Corps of Engineers had improperly issued permits for several mountaintop coal mining operations. New York Times. 14 February 2009
Coal plant wins DHEC board approval. Santee Cooper won an important victory in its quest to build a $2.2 billion coal-fired power plant near Florence, persuading the state’s environmental protection agency that the utility is entitled to an air pollution permit. Columbia State. 13 February 2009
Speakers say coal has staying power. The road for coal-fired electric power in the U.S. will be rocky, but the way forward is starting to become more certain. Houston Chronicle. 13 February 2009
Coal exec eyes carbon control details. The second largest U.S. coal producer, Arch Coal Inc, could support a carbon control program that helps develop technology allowing continued use of coal, Arch Chairman and CEO Steven F. Leer said Thursday. Reuters UK. 13 February 2009
Kansas House panel endorses bill on coal plants. A state House committee endorsed a bill Thursday that ties two proposed coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas to proposals for promoting wind and other renewable energy sources. Associated Press. 13 February 2009
UK and Poland top dirty coal list, closures loom. Britain, Poland, Spain, France and Romania top the list of countries that will have to retire coal-fired power stations by 2015 to comply with European Union acid rain laws, European Commission data shows. Reuters. 13 February 2009
SC health board gives nod to coal plant. South Carolina environmental regulators voted Thursday to uphold air quality permits given to state-owned utility Santee Cooper to build a coal-fired power plant in Florence County. Associated Press. 13 February 2009
Health board upholds Pee Dee coal plant permit. Outside the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, several dozen protesters gathered by a big black inflatable coal plant, shouting "coal kills" and hoping the board would deflate Santee Cooper's Pee Dee coal plant plan. Charleston Post and Courier. 13 February 2009
Coal industry to Obama: Friend or foe? President Obama appears committed to developing clean coal technology and his administration might not be as opposed to the fossil fuel as the industry feared, analysts and mining experts say. Reuters UK. 12 February 2009
No new plants in polluted areas. A Centerville lawmaker stepped up Wednesday with a bill to clear the way for cleaner air in northern Utah valleys. Rep. Roger Barrus formally introduced legislation to put a two-year moratorium on most power plants in areas that do not meet federal clean-air standards for fine soot. Salt Lake Tribune. 12 February 2009
SC governor: Proposed power plant too expensive. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford cited expectations of tougher environmental regulations, rising coal prices and a weak economy Wednesday as he came out against a state-owned utility's plan to build a $1.25 billion coal-fired plant. Associated Press. 12 February 2009
Coal power plant: Sanford 'no', Edwards 'yes.' Gov. Mark Sanford announced today his opposition to a proposed $2.2 billion coal-fired plant in Florence County, just a few hours after former Gov. Jim Edwards urged the board of the state Department of Health and Environmental Control to quickly approve the plant. Columbia State. 12 February 2009
Consumers Energy delays Michigan coal power project. Consumers Energy said Wednesday it pushed back the planned start-up of a proposed 800-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Michigan, due to regulatory delays and a request by the state governor for further review on new coal plants. Reuters. 12 February 2009
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