The [Resource] History of Donbass’ Donetsk and Luhansk Regions – by Patricia Claus (The Greek Reporter – February 22, 2022)

Greek News

When Russian President Vladimir Putin officially recognized the independence of the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, known together as the Donbas, in eastern Ukraine, it was yet another pivotal, wrenching moment in the long and turbulent history of the area.

Putin signed documents purportedly declaring the regions were no longer part of Ukraine after Russian-speaking separatist leaders of the regions had appealed for the declaration hours earlier.

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What some see as the real reason behind Russia’s battle for Donbas – by Allan Woods (Toronto Star – April 20, 2022)

It is a region with complex and bloody history — and resource wealth

It’s a Russian battle for resources that has been cast as a humanitarian crusade, in the view of some.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented his bid to control the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine as an attempt to save Russian-speaking souls trapped in a foreign and hostile land.

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NDP to retable bill to block coal mining in Rocky Mountains – by Bob Weber (Canadian Press/Edmonton Journal – March 14, 2022)

EDMONTON — Alberta’s United Conservative government has refused for the second time to move ahead with an Opposition bill that would have placed legally enforceable restrictions on coal mining in the Rocky Mountains. That shuffles the Eastern Slopes Protection Act back to a legislative committee that could rule the bill won’t proceed at all.

On Monday, the Opposition New Democrats retabled the private member’s bill that would have substituted actual legislation for an order from Energy Minister Sonya Savage restricting coal mining in the Rocky Mountains. NDP Leader Rachel Notley, the bill’s sponsor, said a politician’s promise isn’t enough to protect those much-loved landscapes.

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Mining association objects to proposed federal coal effluent rules – by Bob Weber (Canadian Press/Globe and Mail – March 13, 2022)

Canada’s mining industry is pushing back against proposed tougher federal coal effluent rules, saying the draft regulations aren’t practical or backed by science.

“We just do not see a path to achieving those limits,” said Pierre Gratton of the Mining Association of Canada, which expressed its concerns in a March 2 letter to Environment Canada. “(Environment Canada) has not articulated a justification for going further than the limits that have been agreed to.”

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U.S. Official Says South Africa Aid Aimed at Coal Plants Not EVs – by Antony Sguazzin (Bloomberg News – March 2, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — A group of the world’s richest nations that pledged $8.5 billion in climate finance to South Africa wants the money to be used to retire coal-fired power plants, according to a senior U.S. official involved in the talks, damping suggestions some could be channeled to producing electric vehicles and green hydrogen.

The funds pledged by the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and the European Union and announced at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November, can also be utilized to construct renewable energy facilities, the official said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private.

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Can a tech billionaire squash Australia’s coal industry by buying it? – by Alice Klein (New Scientist – February 22, 2022)

Mike Cannon-Brookes, the third-richest person in Australia, has launched an audacious bid to buy the country’s biggest electricity company – and shut its coal-fired power plants. It is a bold approach to decarbonisation, but can he pull it off?

Australia currently produces the highest carbon emissions per capita in the world from burning coal for power generation. The country’s government is highly attached to fossil fuels. Not long before becoming the current prime minister, Scott Morrison brought a lump of coal to parliament and announced: “This is coal. Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared, it won’t hurt you.”

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OPINION: Jason Kenney’s enthusiasm for coal mining makes little sense on most levels – by Ian Urquhart (Globe and Mail – February 14, 2022)

Ian Urquhart is executive director of Alberta Wilderness Association and Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta.

Albertans have been waiting more than a month for the province’s Coal Policy Committee to release the results of its public consultations, along with recommendations for the future of coal mining in Alberta.

There shouldn’t be any doubt about what the public thinks. The chair of the committee signalled last fall that the public’s message was clear. Albertans, he said, are “strongly opposed” to coal.

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Industry, provincial lobbying weaken proposed federal coal effluent rules: critics – by Bob Weber (CTV News Edmonton – February 13, 2022)

CANADIAN PRESS – EDMONTON – The federal government has bowed to provincial and industry lobbying in weakening proposed standards for coal mining effluent, critics say.

The draft regulations, released earlier this year, would double the amount of toxins – such as selenium – the mines are allowed to release and wouldn’t apply to any mine that starts producing before 2027. Nor do they require companies to monitor overall environmental effects.

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Mayor fears Rocky Mountain coal-mining concerns will be ignored after meeting Kenney – by Bob Weber (CBC News Calgary – January 27, 2022)

Canadian Press – An Alberta mayor says he’s concerned a massive public outcry over coal mining in the province’s Rocky Mountains will be ignored after hearing Premier Jason Kenney tell him he remains an “unapologetic supporter” of the industry.

“It’s very clear to me that Premier Kenney is 100 per cent behind the coal mining companies,” said Craig Snodgrass of High River after meeting with the premier, Energy Minister Sonya Savage and his local member of the legislative assembly, Roger Reid, earlier this month.

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Global coal prices surge as Ukraine tensions worsen supply woes – by Sudarshan Varadhan (Reuters – January 28, 2022)

CHENNAI, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Global coal prices have shot back towards record highs as the Ukraine crisis raises expectations that European buyers will start loading up on the fossil fuel for fear that a standoff between Russia and western nations will cut off gas supplies.

The benchmark Newcastle coal index has soared by over a third this month to $262 a tonne, fuelled initially by a month-long export ban by top supplier Indonesia and now by worries that any military engagement in Ukraine will sever gas supplies from Russia.

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Europe Forced to Rely on Expensive, Dirty Coal to Keep Lights On – by Todd Gillespie (Bloomberg News – January 25, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Coal will play a vital role in helping to keep the lights on in Europe this winter even as prices are jumping and lawmakers are doing their best to kill off one of the dirtiest power-plant fuels.

Northwest European coal for February rose more than 3% to trade at its highest in three months on Tuesday. The latest example of the fuel’s importance came on Monday as U.K.’s usage peaked at its highest level since March to help plug a gap in supplies early in the evening.

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COAL MINING: Banned in Meghalaya, rat-hole mining continues unchecked in Assam’s forests, commission finds – by Rokibuz Zaman ( – January 20, 2022)

A one-man judicial commission, looking into allegations of illegal mining in Assam’s Digboi forest division, has found that rat-hole mining, an unscientific and dangerous technique in which workers enter deep tunnels around three or four feet high to extract coal, is flourishing unchecked in the region.

The area examined by the one-man commission of Justice Brojendra Prasad Katakey overlapped with parts of numerous ecologically sensitive zones, including the Dehing Patkai elephant reserve, which contains within it the Dehing Patkai National Park. Though rat-hole mining has been banned in neighbouring Meghalaya since 2014, numerous instances of it have been recorded there.

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Nanaimo school named for Indigenous man who helped find coal could be renamed – by Carla Wilson (Victoria Times Colonist – January 18, 2022)

A committee could soon be set up to rename Coal Tyee Elementary School, named for a First Nations man who helped the Hudson’s Bay Company find coal deposits in the area. The Nanaimo-Ladysmith school board will consider the move after its education committee unanimously backed a motion to set up the committee.

Coal Tyee Elementary school, located in Nanaimo’s north end, was named for ­Ki-et-sa-kun, who was nicknamed Coal Tyee because he brought the coal deposits near Nanaimo to the attention of the Hudson’s Bay Company, paving the way for mining on the central Island. The school, which opened in 1996, has about 350 students.

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An overview of Indonesia’s coal export ban and Asia’s energy crisis – by Sydney Allen (Global Voices – January 18, 2022)

Coal prices have shot up around the world this month after Indonesia — the fourth biggest coal producer in the world — temporarily banned coal exports from January 1 to January 31 after domestic stockpiles at the state-owned PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) power plants fell to critically low levels.

By December 31, the PLN had less than 1 percent of the coal it needed this month, according to officials from Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. Without the ban, islands including Java and Bali may have faced widespread power loss and blackouts, according to Ridwan Jamaludin, the ministry’s director general for coal.

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Recycling plant aims to turn US coal country into rare earth powerhouse – by Amanda Stutt ( – January 14, 2022)

This week, HG Ventures, an investment arm of The Heritage Group, and American Rare Earth LLC, a subsidiary of the American Resources Corporation (NASDAQ: AREC), announced they are teaming up to scale up the recycling of batteries, magnets and e-waste with the goal of recovering and supplying critical minerals and rare earth metals to US and global markets.

Mining rare earths, essential elements to realizing an electrified economy, can be challenging as materials needed are either not yet mined, or are latent, stranded, for example, in old coal mines – environmental legacy liabilities spread all over North America.

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