Trump on coal.


Many of the people we honor today are people who are skilled in the rhetoric of grievances and promises of new “rights” at someone else’s expense. But is that what is going to make a better America?

Thomas Sowell

During times of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

George Orwell

I wondered a bit as to why the above two quotes grabbed my attention as I wrote this post. It finally dawned on me that today’s battle is against those in Thomas Sowell’s quote. Our weapon is the tool in Orwell’s quote; in my case it is this blog site. Remember always to be part of the discussion if only to say, “I disagree.” (Actually, I may be having an effect. There was a whole lot of “disagree” on my posts for the past couple days – RF.)

President Trump has finally released the stranglehold on coal that came to be known as “the war on coal” under the Obama administration. Flanked by company executives and miners, President Trump signed a long-promised executive order yesterday to nullify President Barack Obama’s headlong surge to curtail coal mining and electricity production from coal. The chart below shows the reduction in coal that has been mined since 2010 when Obama started his campaign against this energy source. (Too bad his Afghanistan surge didn’t last as long.)

Total worldwide energy consumption is somewhere in the vicinity of 474 exajoules (474×1018 J) with 80 to 90 percent derived from the combustion of fossil fuels. I had never even heard the term “exajoules” and I was chemistry major. Suffice it to say, it’s a whole lot of energy.

We may not like the fact that humans consume so great a quantity of energy. However, that is reality. In 2015, the United States consumed a total of 4 trillion megawatt hours of electricity. Less that 4% was generated by the type of “green renewable energy” that modern-day environmental activists insist is the future. By contrast, even under the withering attack from the last administration, 33% of electricity in the US still is generated from coal.

It is important that Americans understand that we are the Saudi Arabia of coal. US coal reserves are the largest in the world. We hold 25% of world coal reserves. Russia is next with 15%.

China uses the most coal, but has comparatively little when matched against the USA. That means they must import coal. In October 2016 Chinese coal imports peaked at 20 million tons per month (let’s say roughly 240 million tons per year). That is almost 1/3 of current US annual production.

The Obama administration was single minded in its efforts to derail coal production (and don’t forget Hillary’s infamous statement: “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” – see footnote) A recent study indicates that with a 10% increase in the real price of electricity nationally (one third of which is generated by coal), the United States will lose, or fail to create, over one million jobs and decrease annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $142 billion.

Further, the study demonstrates that vulnerability to electricity price increases varies substantially by industry: electricity-intensive manufacturing—including primary metals, paper, wood, chemicals, textiles, and minerals—experience the most-significant losses of productive capacity. The reverse calculation (a 10% reduction in the price of electricity) is not exactly the opposite effect, but close. (In fairness, some of the reduction in mined coal was due to much lower prices for natural gas – but, of course, Obama also was against this form of fossil fuel, especially if it was obtained through “fracking.”)

President Trump is about to begin negotiating trade deals with China. He wants to increase our exports to China. Do any of my readers think that “coal” could be a big stick in those negotiations?

Roy Filly

Footnote: How to enjoy today. Close you eyes and repeat, “Hillary Clinton is not the President of the United States… Hillary Clinton is not the President of the United States.” When you open them you are going to feel much better.

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About Roy Filly

Please read my first blog in which I describe myself and my goals.
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4 Responses to Trump on coal.

  1. Steve Kemp says:

    Very enlightening post Roy.

    In addition to the Hildabeast afformation, knowing that Trump is working on tax reform , EPA slashing, illegal immigration, and generally stabbing the PC culture gives one a warm and cozy feeling!

  2. Allan says:

    Excellent article.

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