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Tipping Points and Taking Action for Grid Resilience

Summer’s sweltering afternoons are receding into fall’s delightfully crisp mornings, soon to be followed by winter’s cold, snow and ice. Through all seasons, Americans continue to count on the reliable flow of electricity. From homes to hospitals, banks to schools, farms to factories, police stations to firehouses, medical labs to military bases, telecommunications to mass…

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Tracking Coal through the Process of Steel Making

Granite City, Illinois is the quintessential American small town. It has a population of about 26,000 and for more than 100 years, its economy has largely been dependent on the local U.S. Steel manufacturing plant. For most of that time the community lived with the assurance that comes with an economy centered on basic industry.…

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Coal to Products, A Carbon Valley and Future New Uses for Coal

Coal has a bright future. That future, however, may not look the way many people expect. In fact, there could come a day where coal is considered too valuable to burn. Earlier this year, researchers from some of the nation’s most innovative universities, research institutes, laboratories and energy companies — the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,…

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Unlocking a Hydrocarbon Arbitrage from Coal

For almost 100 years, the energy industry has struggled to find a cost-effective way to upgrade coal into oil. Coal has historically been traded at six times less than oil (on an energy-adjusted basis). Closing this value gap is the greatest opportunity in today’s global energy market, estimated at a staggering $20 trillion over the…

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Thermal Hydrogen: A Formula for Efficient, Emissions-Free Coal Use

By Jared Moore, Ph.D. With abundant natural gas supply available for the foreseeable future, coal must find new ways to compete. Though coal is still much cheaper, natural gas has fundamental advantages that enhance its competitiveness in the electricity sector: capital costs, efficiency and emissions.  For coal to remain competitive under increasing emissions constraints, a bold…

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Where Now?

By T.L. Headley, American Coal Council Prior to the election of Donald Trump as president this past November, many people were busy writing the coal industry’s obituary. Contrast that with what is transpiring in 2017 – the coal industry has experienced a significant increase in year-over-year production, many laid-off coal miners are returning to work,…

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The Future of Rare Earth Elements May Lie with Coal

By Mary Anne Alvin, Evan Granite and Charles Miller, DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory Few people think of coal when they think of high-tech devices. However, that may soon change as researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) work to recover materials called rare earth elements (REEs) from coal…

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On the River

By T.L. Headley, American Coal Council CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The sun was just coming up over the mountains, and a gentle fog was beginning to rise out of the valley when I arrived at the Winfield Locks and Dam on the Kanawha River about 25 miles northwest of Charleston. The Charleston – one of 30…

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Coal Trading Market Evolves With the Industry

By Ken Worst, Evolution Markets Inc. Coal trading markets, as with the rest of the coal industry, are in transition. Producers, power generators, traders and other market participants are increasingly utilizing the over-the-counter (OTC) markets for spot, mid-term and long-term physical transactions – even as they continue to function as a vital hedging tool. The…

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The Fossil Fuel Industry’s Millennial Problem – and How to Solve It.

By Alex Epstein, Center for Industrial Progress It is common knowledge in the U.S. fossil fuel industry, including the coal industry, that attracting and retaining millennial workers is a challenge and a priority. “The Great Crew Change” brought on by the looming mass retirement of baby boomers and the shortage of workers in their 30s…