Coal is in Trouble (no matter how hard the angry white guys fight it)

The coal industry doesn’t just have the EPA, doctors, and all rational people living in the 21st century against it. The cost of natural gas is pushing it out.

Here’s some bleak news for the coal industry: As much as 65 percent of the U.S. coal fleet could find itself under threat in the years ahead, thanks to cheap natural gas and stricter air-pollution regulations.

That’s according to a new peer-reviewed study by three researchers at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, who take a detailed look at the costs of operating both coal-fired power plants and natural-gas plants around the United States.

I hate to get technical but coal is crap. It’s poison like McDonalds. If coal had ever been forced to be priced for the externalities of destroying the landscape, rivers, lakes, lung diseases, etc. it would have been gone long ago – like whale oil.

Update: Renewable Energy accounted for 82% of all new electric generating capability in the US in the first quarter of 2013. That is awesome news! If the GOP would just get out of the fucking way…

$3.5 TRILLION a Year Spent to Subsidize the Fossil Fuel Industry

Dave Roberts of Grist reports on the 2011 world wide numbers from the International Monetary Fund of what governments are tossing down the toilet on 19th century energy technology. Insane.

A new report [PDF] from the International Monetary Fund tries to tally up fossil fuel subsidies around the world and finds that they add up to an eye-popping $1.9 trillion a year. That’s 2.5 percent of global GDP!

That’s $1.9 trillion in direct subsidies. and another estimated $1.6 trillion in not taxing the externalities of carbon use (i.e., air pollution, pollution related health problems, global warming, duh!).

As enviro hero Paul Hawken is fond of saying, “we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it GDP.” I can’t think of a better description of these fossil fuel subsidies. And when we use a more realistic cost for carbon damages, we get a better sense of just how much we are stealing from our descendents — trillions and trillions of dollars a year. The heedless radicalism and grotesque immorality of it are breathtaking.