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Europe and Asia are massively expanding?
I’ve been looking into the coal industry, in a superficial way. And here’s the scoop. The coal industry is dead and dying, in the U.S. and elsewhere — if not right now, then pretty soon. Scientific American in May trumpeted the news: “The End of Coal Burning in the U.S.” The Wall Street Journal noted: “The Coal Age Nears its End.” And then there’s Canada’s in-house peakster: “Is Peak Coal Coming?” asks economist/author Jeff Rubin.
So there you have it, except that’s only the half of it. The other half is this: “Coal Era Beckons for Europe,” says BusinessWeek. Bloomberg reports that “Merkel’s Green Shift Forces Germany to Burn More Coal.” Another report, citing the World Resources Institute, said 1,231 new coal plants with total power capacity of 1.4 million megawatts are planned worldwide.
“Beyond the biggest users — China, India and the United States,” reports ClimateWire, “the assessment finds a heavy coal demand building in Russia, Vietnam, Turkey and South Africa. The United States, with 79 coal plants in the pipeline, ranks fourth in this category.”
These two contradictory views of coal cannot long coexist, and a gambler might be well advised to put his money on a coming coal boom. The idea that coal is dying seems to be mostly wishful thinking on the part of green activists, as well as some politicians and regulators in the United States and parts of Canada. Ontario aims to end dirty coal-fired power generation, at great cost to consumers who are now paying high prices for the putative clean alternatives, wind and solar.