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Saturday, February 18, 2017

More good news for West Virginia coal

The rescinding this week of an EPA rule on where coal companies can put rocks and dirt in strip mining -- falsely called "coal mining waste" by the media -- was not the only good news for West Virginia coal miners.

China today announced it will not accept any coal from North Korea from now until the end of the year (Western year, not Chinese).

Enter West Virginia coal.

This is a great opportunity to put miners back to work.

One-third of the coal mined in this state is sold overseas. The No. 10 U.S. export to China is coal. So the supply line is there, and ready to expand.

West Virginia is the Saudi Arabia of coal.

Earlier today, in response to an Instapundit link on coal being hurt by fracked gas even with ending the EPA rule, I observed:
Glenn, you are right about gas but this gives coal a chance to stay in the game. America needs the mining industry for a variety of reasons that go beyond the consumption of coal. The export of mining equipment and the development of mining technology will pay off even as India and China expand their mining operations. Plus having trained miners (and it is a highly skilled occupation) gives us flexibility to expand coal mining quickly. We made our last TV in 1995. That meant we missed the HD TV and flat-screen TV business years later. Let's not do that with coal. Besides dumping rocks over the hillside is not pollution and they know it at EPA.
I go over this in a little more detail in "Trump the Establishment."

My point is coal mining is not dead in the United States in general or West Virginia in particular. The same people who want to kill coal pronounced oil and gas dead in the United States 20 years ago.

How serious the Chinese Communists are about punishing North Korea, I do not know.

But I do know that China importing more coal will help West Virginia.

From the Washington Post:
China will suspend all imports of coal from North Korea until the end of the year, the Commerce Ministry announced Saturday, in a surprise move that would cut off a major financial lifeline for Pyongyang and significantly tighten the effectiveness of U.N. sanctions.
Coal is North Korea’s largest export item. The ministry said the ban would come into force Sunday and be effective until Dec. 31.

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  1. Say hello to the revitalization of southern West Virginia! Oxy and Pepsi as currencies will fade away. Men will feel proud of earning an honest day's wage again. Mine baby Mine!

  2. Good for coal miners and coal shippers. Bummer for the NorKs, but it looks like the Chinese have reasons for concern.

  3. Trump has made a big deal about PRC not putting enough pressure on DPRK when they are perfectly able to. I wonder if this has anything to do with that.
    I've always felt that PRC should feel more threatened by nuke development by DPRK that anyone else. Familiarity breeds contempt.

    1. There ya go..."Chinese should "police DPRK."

      Another unfilled campaign talking point 4 weeks into the presidency.

      My definitely better and good looking half asked the question mid rally: "what is he going do in the summer?"

  4. All great points, especially about the mining equipment and technology. There is much more to mining than the miners (I am not diminishing their skill and importance). The economic illiterates of the left led by pelosi and Schumer claimed that carol mining was not a big loss since there are relatively few coal miners. They have not a clue about what it takes for one miner to do his job (yes I said HIS).

    If you have never read or not reverently read "i, Pencil" by Leonard Read, I highly recommend it. It could also be titled "I, Lump of Coal".

    1. Coal mining. Not carol mining. Damn spell check.

    2. Well, carol mining would be important during Christmastide.

    3. I just read Read. I have a profound new respect for the lowly wooden pencil that I never had before. Who knew? A free market miracle. The praise from economist Walter Williams was well justified.

  5. Why would anyone in the steel industry want to go to the bother of pet coke when coal coke is good and plenty?

  6. This is how you turn states red.

    1. Yeah, exactly, Ed. Crap on their livelihood and then tell them they should retrain for "21st Century Skills." But then get all pissed off when their power goes off. Liberals are psychotic.

  7. What's the difference between West Virginian two-year-olds and Californian adults?

    When the WV two-year-olds shout "Mine! Mine! Mine!", it just means they want to do what their daddy does.

  8. I still don't buy the lefty argument that cheap natural gas has killed the coal industry. The Democrats' war on coal has been the real killer, and I think they should take credit for wiping out all those blue-collar jobs they pretend to care about.