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 Formidable Lineup of Speakers Coming to Bluefield Coal Symposium This Summer

A formidable lineup of speakers has been assembled for the Bluefield Coal Symposium. So far, there are three coal operator CEOs comprising: Jimmy Brock, CONSOL Energy; Randall W. Atkins, Ramaco Resources; and John Schroder, United Coal. There are two government leaders, Christopher J. Williamson, Assistant Secretary of Labor, MSHA; and Dr. Stephen G. Sawyer, Director, NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Center.  

Jimmy Brock

Randall Atkins


John Schroder


Christopher Williamson

Dr. Stephen G. Sawyer

Representing other organizations are CEOs and Vice Presidents of no less than six mining associations comprising: Michelle Manook, Chief Executive, FutureCoal (formerly World Coal Association); Ben Beakes, President, Metallurgical Coal Producers Association; Paul Krivoka, VP of Health and Safety, National Mining Association; David Kanagy, Executive Director & CEO, Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, Inc,; Michelle Bloodworth, President & CEO, America’s Power; and Chris Hamilton, President & CEO, West Virginia Coal Association. In addition, there are numerous other well-known industry personalities, who will be speaking.

“The American coal industry makes a direct $28 billion economic contribution to the Nation each year and there are 68,179 employees at coal mines, including contractors, with both direct and indirect workers totaling 324,800,” said Bill Reid, Chair of the Symposium and Managing Editor of CoalZoom.com. “We have brought together an amazing group of speakers so that all questions on the future of the American coal industry can be answered. Thus, we can understand the way forward. This will certainly be an iconic meeting which is drawing attendees from every coalfield.”

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com. 

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News.


Key Bridge Collapse: CSX Resumes Coal Exports at Curtis Bay

After being unable to export coal with the Port of Baltimore’s main channel blocked in the wake of the Francis Scott Key Bridge disaster, the CSX railroad said its terminal here has resumed coal shipments and expects to be back to normal next week.

The Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad giant, the corporate descendant of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, said in social media posts this week that it has begun modified loading operations at its Curtis Bay Coal Piers.

“CSX’s Baltimore service is back on track!” the company said in a Facebook post. “Our dedicated railroaders remain committed to delivering for our customers and working together to move America forward.”

International coal shipments out of the port had been suspended after the Dali freighter struck the Key Bridge on March 26, causing the span to collapse and blocking the busy port.

The railroad kept the coal piers open and was able to resume some limited operations after temporary shipping channels opened, which allowed limited commercial maritime traffic, mostly by barge, and, later in April, included a deeper-draft channel.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com.

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News

Lawmakers Hear Grim Updates From the Coal Industry and Electric Utilities

Now that the legislative session is over, lawmakers are meeting periodically to discuss what issues they need to address next session. A theme from a recent meeting was the coal industry’s hardships, with big asks from industry representatives and grim updates from utilities that currently depend on the energy source.

“Trying to stay alive.”

Travis Deti, executive director of the Wyoming Mining Association (WMA), didn’t mince words at a May 9 Joint Legislative Minerals, Business and Economic Development Interim Committee meeting. Notably, this was before the recent Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announcement of its draft plan to end new coal mining in the Powder River Basin, which is Wyoming and the country’s top producing coal region.

Photo: Caitlin Tan, Wyoming Public Media

“These are tough times,” Deti said. “Things are difficult. Market conditions are tough.”

That’s because Wyoming coal production has almost halved since 2008. The state still supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s coal, but some analysts project more furloughs and mine closures are to come. Just compared to this time last year, production is down 20 percent.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com.  

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News.  


Gordon Slams Wyoming Freedom Caucus for Coal-Policy Misinformation

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon blasted the Wyoming Freedom Caucus this week in a letter and subsequent interview with WyoFile after the hard-line group of Republican lawmakers attacked the governor in an op-ed that, among other things, failed to get basic facts straight regarding Wyoming’s past and present coal-related litigation.

At the center of the dispute lies the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s recent proposal to end future coal leasing in the Powder River Basin — the nation’s largest coal supplier and longtime pillar of Wyoming’s economy.  

Gordon blamed the Biden administration for a “lack of regard for the environment, for working people, and for reliable, dispatchable energy,” and promised legal action when, or if, the decision is signed and finalized by the federal government.

Sixteen members of the Freedom Caucus, in turn, blamed Gordon in an op-ed sent to media outlets Wednesday. Multiple outlets published it without noting basic inaccuracies in the piece, including a charge that Gordon vetoed a coal litigation bill in 2018 — before he was even the governor.

Rep. John Bear (R-Gillette) and other members of the Wyoming Freedom Caucus at the 2024 Wyoming Legislature. (Ashton J. Hacke/WyoFile)

The group implored the governor to mount an immediate court challenge, instead of waiting for the state to have legal standing. The group also faulted the governor for a Trump administration decision and a gubernatorial veto from before he was governor. 

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com.

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News  


As Electricity Demand Soars, BLM Says No New Federal Coal Leasing

On May 16, the Biden administration announced it would not be issuing any new coal leases in the Powder River Basin, the beating heart of federal coal production. It was a decision that doubles down on the administration’s effort to leave the nation woefully unprepared for surging power demand.
Riding on the coattails of the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent blitz of power plant rules targeting the coal fleet, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s decision is the latest shoe to drop in the Biden administration’s alternate energy reality.
The administration is determined – wherever possible – to eliminate the sources of power and fuel supplies that are the foundation of the nation’s energy security and grid reliability well before replacement capacity – much less the capacity needed to meet soaring new demand – is constructed and connected to the grid.

“At a time of deteriorating grid reliability, soaring electricity demand and ongoing concern about global energy shocks, proposing a plan of no new coal leasing in the Powder River Basin is outrageous,” said Rich Nolan, president and CEO of the National Mining Association (NMA). “This damages American energy security and affordability and is a severe economic blow to mining states and communities. The NMA strongly opposes this political move,” he added.
While the nation’s reliability regulators, grid operators and utilities warn of power shortages and unprecedented new power demand, and as the buildout of renewable capacity and enabling infrastructure hits one roadblock after another, the Biden administration is pulling the rug out from under the nation’s energy supply.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com.  

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News


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