Front Porch Blog

Coal Imports and Energy Dependence

I’d like to begin and end this post with this quote…

“If we have our back to the wall, we can always fall back on the coal reserves we have here in this country,”

Coal imports to the United States have gone up 230% since 1999 due to an increasing demand for low-sulfur coal. Imports have surged from 9 million tons to 30.5 million tons, and government analysts say that this year, the number could rise as high as 40 million tons!

In 2000 the US Geological Survey estimated that we have just 10-20 years left of coal left in Appalachia (including Pennsylvania.)

If present trends continue, the US will be a net importer of coal by 2013, according to the Energy Information Administration of the US Department of Energy.

Large low-sulfur coal supplies exist in places like Wyoming and Montana. But with the increasing costs of transportation, getting coal from here to there is going to become a less viable option.

a spokesman for CPS Energy of San Antonio, says the company imported 150,000 tons of coal from Colombia because of rail delivery problems of the powder-river coal.

If we want to have a domestic energy supply, it will not be in coal or fossil fuels. Coal-mining is already destroying Appalachian communities forever, particularly with mountaintop removal coal-mining.

Its time we look at alternatives.

Appalachia is one of the greatest places in the UNIVERSE to harvest wind-power. Take a look at this map

I think you’ll notice an exciting trend in regards to wind power.

…concides with…

Question: Why should we continue to rely on something that makes our mountains look like moonscapes, keeps our people poor in the present and destroys any possibility of long-term economic prosperity, and has seen job losses of 90% over the last few decades?

Answer: Because blockheads like this control energy policy…

[Importing coal…] is different from the problem of US oil consumption in which the nation each year consumes about a quarter of the global supply, but has only 3 percent of global reserves, says Gal Luft, executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security in Washington, a think-tank focused on energy security issues.

“If we have our back to the wall, we can always fall back on the coal reserves we have here in this country,” he says.

Now we know why that is not true.





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