Coal Age

JAN-FEB 2018

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Page 9 of 51

8 Janaury/February 2018 news continued d a t e l i n e w a s h i n g t o n In my downtown Washington neighborhood, a sign above my friend's parking space waxes philosophical about a chronic urban problem: Is there life after death? Park here and find out. At times over the last few years, many in the coal industry must have mused over the same question. It's only natural after enduring a near death experi- ence to wonder what, if anything, is on the other side. Luckily for coal, there is life after eight years of the previous adminis- tration and its dogged attempts to kill off coal — and with it the jobs, revenue and fuel diversity that coal provides. Give Team Obama this: they didn't fail for lack of trying. We all know the regulatory barrage from Washington that rained on our posi- tions just as natural gas launched a frontal assault. Then seemingly out of nowhere, the cavalry came to the rescue, put an abrupt end to the bombardment and helped us regroup and, at least for now, held off the gas invaders. This explains why many in the industry are fairly content with life today. It may not be great, but it's still pretty good after the re- cent brush-with-death experience. "The best feeling in the world is to be shot at and missed," said Winston Churchill. Indeed, we live to fight another day. Many commentators, reluctant to give the president any credit for anything, look balefully at coal's diminished state. The glass is somehow never half full, in their eyes, it's always half empty. But they didn't ex- perience first-hand the confrontation with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) "death star" and its "deep state" allies at the Department of the Interior, at CEQ, etc. Small wonder these commentators can't ap- preciate what it is like to have survived. But survive we did. At year's end, the signs of revival were real enough for anyone to appreciate. Production was up 7.5%, spurring employment gains in the last three quarters — with 11 coal-producing states adding jobs. Exports through November of last year climbed 45%, thanks to all those rich and poor countries that didn't get the coal-is- dead memo. At Hampton-Roads, the nation's largest coal terminal, coal shipments last year jumped by 58.9%. More recent data suggests the strength in overseas demand should continue well into this year. No doubt these favorable market conditions put wind in our sales. But as National Mine Association's (NMA) CEO Hal Quinn puts it, the winds not only filled our sails, they actually "reversed." That is, policies that once harmed coal shifted to ones that helped it. What if they hadn't shifted? What if government policies had con- tinued to destroy coal assets and prevailed to keep coal in the ground? Could the industry have been able to take advantage of the mar- ket opening it had last year? Coal would not have generated 35% of PJM's electricity in that freezing week in January and spared the 13-state grid from potentially serious problems. Other exporting countries and their workers, not ours, would have been beneficiaries of the rebound in global demand if government had aided activists in shutting down coal terminals. Some observers low ball our employment gains by ignoring contract workers who comprise about one-third of total direct coal employment. Add these together with miners on company payrolls and employment was up by 15% from the end of the first quarter through December of last year. In Walmart America, what state wouldn't want more jobs paying $83,000 a year with good benefits? Which poses another question: how many people would have had these jobs if the election turned out differently and Team Obama's pol- icies continued for four more years? Yes, coal did benefit from market conditions last year. But thanks in part to a caring government. Luke Popovich is a spokesperson for the National Mining Association, the industry's trade group based in Washington, D.C. Life After Death by luke popovich tric system. What is not debatable is that a diverse fuel supply, espe- cially with on-site fuel capability, plays an essential role in providing Americans with reliable, resilient and affordable electricity, particu- larly in times of weather-related stress like we are seeing now." Those in the coal industry were not nearly as positive as Perry. National Mining Association President Hal Quinn called the lack of action by the FERC "disappointing." He added that while FERC agreed to continue to examine the grid vulnerability to events such as severe weather, retirements of vital coal and nuclear power plants continue. "It is now incum- bent upon grid overseers to adopt significant measures to safe- guard the American people and economy from serious disrup- tions in future power supply," he said. Lighthouse Resources Files Lawsuit Against Washington Lighthouse Resources Inc. filed a federal lawsuit against Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and members of his administration for blocking coal mined in Wyoming, Montana and other western sister states from being exported through a terminal in Washington, which it alleged is in violation of the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause and other federal statutes. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, Washington, detailed how state officials allegedly violated the U.S. Constitution and federal law by unreasonably denying and refusing to process permits to redevelop a brownfield site on the Columbia River where an existing Washington state lease allows coal exports. Lighthouse Resources is an energy supply chain company whose subsidiaries own and operate coal mines in Montana and

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