Coal Age

OCT 2015

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In Minnesota, Xcel does business as Northern States Power. The Sierra Club and other groups, including the Minnesota C enter for Environmental Advocacy, said Sherco units 1 and 2 s hould be retired in 2021 and 2024, respectively. There appears to be general consensus, at least for now, that Sherco's largest unit, 860-megawatt unit 3, will continue operating at least through most of the next decade. Unit 3 is also the newest unit, going into com- mercial operation in 1987. Becker officials said the community would be devastated if Sherco, the largest power plant in Minnesota, closed because the plant provides dozens of jobs and most of the property taxes for t he local economy. Republican State Rep. Pat Garofalo supports the plant. In late September, Garofalo, who chairs the Job Growth and Energy Affordability Committee in the Minnesota General Assembly, urged Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, to oppose the CPP. "Democrats support a Bermuda Triangle of mindless energy policies," Garofalo said. "They oppose pipelines, they oppose environmental-friendly mining on the Iron Range, and they sup- port the Clean Power Plan, which is going to mean higher energy p rices and crippling job losses for Minnesota." He added, "Becker is not the only community that would be devas- tated by the loss of a coal power plant. If Sherco and other coal plants close, we're talking about the loss of millions in local property tax rev- enue and hundreds of jobs that support families across the state." Usibelli Stops Coal Exports for the Rest of 2015 The Usibelli coal complex in Alaska, citing an oversupply of coal globally as well as low prices, will idle its exporting of coal through the end of the year. Aurora Energy Services (AES), the operator of the Seward Coal Loading Facility under parent company Usibelli Coal Mine (UCM), said September 22 it will halt its exports to Chile, South Korea and Japan — to which it shipped 1.2 million tons annually at peak, but now sends about 150,000 tons per year — through the balance of 2015. In-state coal will still be supplied, according to officials. AES General Manager Rod Brown said the company will furlough, though no exact numbers were disclosed. A small skeleton crew will be kept at the site for maintenance. The Seward Coal Loading Facility's exports have been falling since 2011, along with the demand for Alaska coal. UCM, headquartered in Healy, is the only operating coal mine in Alaska. n e w s c o n t i n u e d October 2015 www.coalage.com 17 A dragline moves overburden at Usibelli Coal in Alaska.

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