Coal Age

JUN 2019

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June 2019 5 leading developments continued ergy. The company filed for Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on May 10. It owns and operates three surface coal mines in the Powder River Basin: the Antelope and Corde- ro Rojo mines in Wyoming and the Spring Creek mine in Montana. Parties interested in bidding had until June 14, with a bid deadline of July 8 at 5 p.m. If necessary, an auc- tion will be held on July 11. A hearing approving the sale will take place on July 18. The bankruptcy court has also granted Cloud Peak Energy interim approval to access $10 million of up to $35 million in debtor-in-posses- sion (DIP) financing. The $35 million DIP financing, combined with the company's cash on hand and funds generated from ongoing operations, is expected to provide sufficient li- quidity for the company to contin- ue operating in the ordinary course during the sale process. In addition, Cloud Peak Energy received court approval to continue payment of employee wages, salaries and benefits without interruption, and to pay vendors, suppliers and other providers. The company also received approval to continue enter- ing into and fulfilling orders under sales contracts with customers in the ordinary course of business. Adani Can Begin Construction on Carmichael Mine On June 13, the Queensland Govern- ment gave the final environmental approval of Adani's Carmichael mine in Central Queensland. The pro- ject, which has been in the planning stages for eight years, can now begin construction. The Department of Environment and Science approved the Ground- water Dependent Ecosystems Man- agement Plan for the project. "This is confirmation the plan complies with all regulatory con- ditions set by the Australian and state governments, bringing to a close a two-year process of rigorous scientific inquiry, review and ap- provals," Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow said. "This includes relevant reviews by Australia's pre-eminent scientific organizations CSIRO and Geoscience Australia." Dow said over the next few days, the company will finalize contracts, mobilize equipment, and recruit- ment will continue. Then construc- tion, including fencing, bridge and road upgrades, water management and civil earthworks, will start on the mine site. He added that 1,500 direct and 6,750 indirect jobs will be needed during ramp up and construction. "It has been more than 50 years since a new coal basin has opened in Queensland," Sen. The Hon. Matt Canavan, minister for resources and Northern Australia, said. "So, this de- velopment is of huge importance to the economic future of Queensland." Adani is the biggest commercial investment from an Indian company in Australia, Canavan said. EPA Finalizes Affordable Clean Energy Rule On Wednesday, June 19, the U.S. Environ- mental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the final Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, which will replace former President Barack Obama administration's Clean Power Plan (CPP). The new rule "restores the rule of law and empowers states to continue to reduce emissions while pro- viding affordable and reliable energy for all Americans," the EPA said. A review of the CPP was done in response to President Donald Trump's Executive Order 13873-Promoting Ener- gy Independence and Economic Growth issued in March 2017. In 2016, the Su- preme Court issued a stay of the CPP. "Today, we are delivering on one of President Trump's core priorities: ensur- ing the American public has access to affordable, reliable energy in a manner that continues our nation's environmen- tal progress," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "Unlike the CPP, ACE adheres to the Clean Air Act and gives states the regulatory certainty they need to continue to reduce emissions and provide a dependable, diverse supply of electricity that all Americans can afford." Wheeler said the EPA anticipates a decrease of 35% below 2005 levels by 2030. The EPA said the ACE rule identifies heat rate improvements as the best sys- tem of emission reduction (BSER) for CO 2 from coal-fired power plants, and these improvements can be made at individual facilities. States will have three years to submit plans. There are also new regulations for ACE and future existing-source rules under the Clean Air Act. There will be unit-specific standards of performance. States can take remaining useful life and other factors into account when estab- lishing a standard of performance for that source, the EPA said. The EPA's role will be to determine nationally applicable BSER and the states will have the power to de- termine standards and implement them. In 2030, the ACE rule is projected to reduce CO 2 emissions by 11 million short tons; SO 2 emissions by 5,700 tons; NOx emissions by 7,100 tons; PM2.5 emis- sions by 400 tons; and mercury emis- sions by 59 lb. EPA projects that ACE will result in annual net benefits of $120 million to $730 million, including costs, domestic climate benefits and health co-benefits. "In this rule, the EPA has accom- plished what eluded the prior adminis- tration: providing a clear, legal pathway to reduce emissions while preserving states' authority over their own grids," said National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn. "ACE re- places a proposal that was so extreme that the Supreme Court issued an un- precedented stay of the proposal, having recognized the economic havoc the mere suggestion of such overreach was caus- ing in the nation's power grid."

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