Coal Age

SEP 2018

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4 September 2018 news EPA to Replace CPP With Affordable Clean Energy Rule b r e a k i n g n e w s Ramaco Develops Alternative Plan at Berwind Mine After new exploratory drilling at the Berwind mine, Ramaco Resourc- es has further defined the extent of a sandstone intrusion and has implemented an alternative plan to mine around it and ramp up into the Pocahontas No. 4 seam. The company said it will continue to mine in an alternate path through the Pocahontas No. 3 Seam at an expected annualized rate of about 200,000 tons per year (tpy). These development tons are expected to be sold at current pricing levels into the low volatile metallurgical market. Ramaco Resources now estimates that it will reach the thick- er Pocahontas No. 4 seam low-volatile reserve in the second quar- ter of 2020, as opposed to the third quarter of 2019. When reached, the level of production anticipated from both the Pocahontas Nos. 3 and 4 reserves remains as originally forecast at approximately 800,000 tpy. The Berwind coal reserve consists of 31,200 acres of controlled mineral and approximately 72 million clean recoverable tons of proven and probable reserves located on the border of West Virginia and Vir- ginia, in McDowell County, West Virginia, and Buchanan and Tazewell counties, Virginia. Ramaco Resources has new commitments for the sale and de- livery of more than 1.2 million tons of various qualities of metallur- gical coal to domestic customers in 2019. The average price of these sales is approximately $113/ton FOB mine, which compares to the company's 2018 average sales price to domestic customers of $79/ton FOB mine, an increase of roughly 43% year-over-year. The company also contracted earlier this year with various export customers for the sale of an additional 200,000 tons of metallurgical coal for delivery in the first half of 2019, at prices set against various index prices. by jennifer jensen, associate editor On August 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a new rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fired plants that would replace former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP). The proposal, the Affordable Clean Energy Rule (ACE), would establish emissions guidelines for states to use. According to the EPA, this rule will empower states, promote energy in- dependence, and facilitate economic growth and job creation. President Donald Trump issued an ex- ecutive order back in March 2017 to have federal agencies review potential "burden- some" regulations. Following this order, the EPA announced it was proposing a repeal of the CPP after a thorough review. When the CPP was announced, 27 states, 24 trade associations, 37 ru- ral electric co-ops, and three labor unions challenged the rule. Additionally, the Supreme Court issued a stay of the rule. "The ACE Rule would restore the rule of law and empower states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide mod- ern, reliable and affordable energy for all Americans," said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "Today's proposal pro- vides the states and regulated community the certainty they need to continue environmental progress while fulfilling Pres- ident Trump's goal of energy dominance." The proposal defines the "best system of emission re- duction" (BSER) for existing power plants as on-site, heat-rate efficiency improvements; provides states with a list of "candi- date technologies" that can be used to establish standards of performance and be incorporated into their state plans; up- dates the New Source Review (NSR) permitting program to further encourage efficiency improvements at existing pow- er plants; and aligns regulations under Clean Air Act section 111(d) to give states adequate time and flexibility to develop their state plans. In regard to the new rule, Trump said, "We're ending intru- sive EPA regulations that kill jobs … and raise the price of ener- gy so quickly and so substantially." The EPA projected that replacing the CPP with the pro- posal could reduce the compliance burden by up to $400 million a year. The EPA also estimated that the rule would reduce 2030 CO 2 emissions by up to 1.5% from projected lev- els. When states have fully implemented the proposal, CO 2 Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, appears before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on August 1. (AP Photo)

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