Welcome to Tennessee Tuesday! We’ve been searching across the state, patrolling the web and scouring our inboxes (as has President Obama, of course) in order to bring you the latest on the state-est that’s the greatest! Let’s get right to it.
First of all, we’ve seen a brief clip from this morning on Fox News on the opposition to mountaintop removal in Tennessee. The controversial practice of mountaintop removal has all the me’s, we’s, and them’s across the state up in arms. A longer piece is scheduled to air this evening, and we’ll be on the lookout for that.
Now, besides the fact that most of our coal companies are owned out-of-state, we’ve gone over the fact that TVA didn’t use any Tennessee coal last year, and that a weakening Central Appalachian coal market is increasingly reliant on sending its product overseas. The New York Times recently did an excellent piece on what more coal exports could mean for American coal, export terminals in the Pacific Northwest and impoverished extraction communities. According to the NYT piece:
Last year, American coal exports set a record of 125 million tons in sales, roughly double the volume in 2009, with most of that going to Europe. Exports fell this spring because of slower Chinese demand for steelmaking coal. But energy experts say the big potential market for American coal remains in Asia, and several proposed Pacific Northwest export terminals would have the capacity to nearly double current exports.
125 million tons in exports last year! That’s more coal than the amount mined in West Virginia and Tennessee combined. And — in what is apparently the new standard for the United State’s coal industry — it’s “better than something happening in China®.”