All errors should be reported to

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Help wanted: coal miners

As green energy fails across the world, demand for coal is rising. Prices tripled. The USA with 357 years of coal reserves should be raking it in.

But after decades of demonizing coal, the United States has run out of coal miners. It is a skilled craft that requires training and certifiucation because of safety concerns. Baby boomers are retiring and their sons and their grandsons decided not to get into a dying industry.

The canary in the coal mine is that no canaries are going into the coal mines.

The demand is there as never before.

The Wall Street Journal reported, "Coal supply shortages are pushing prices for the fuel to record highs and laying bare the challenges to weaning the global economy off one of its most important—and polluting—energy sources.

"The crunch has many causes—from the post-pandemic boom to supply-chain strains and ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions. And it is expected to last at least through the winter, raising fears in many countries of fuel shortfalls in the months ahead.

"Australia’s Newcastle thermal coal, a global benchmark, is trading at $202 a metric ton, three times higher than at the end of 2019. Global production of coal, which generates around 40% of the world’s electricity, is about 5% below pre-pandemic levels.

"In Europe, the rising prices for coal and other energy resources have hit factory output and driven household energy bills higher. Major coal importers in Asia, including Japan and South Korea, are jostling to secure supplies."

That is really good news if you are sitting on 357 years worth of coal reserves.

But the next paragraph dripped with schadenfreude.

It said, "In China, dwindling supplies and surging costs have resulted in electricity shortfalls on a scale unseen in more than a decade, hitting industry and prompting some cities to turn off traffic lights to conserve power." 

Hahahahahahahaha -- gasps for breath -- hahahahahaha.

No traffic lights for you!

And coal prices may rise higher because Forbes reported, "Energy crisis is turning even ‘net zero’ countries back to coal—and prices are hitting record highs."

Alas, coal in the ground is worthless if you cannot get hardhats to dig it out either above ground or below.

Bloomberg reported, "The number of coal miners in the U.S. has been sliding for years, and is down about 8.6% from before the pandemic. People who have left are reluctant to come back and young people are even more wary about taking a job in an industry that they’ve consistently been told has no future given the global push toward clean energy.

"That’s making it difficult for mining companies to boost production at a time when the global energy crisis is making utilities desperate for every lump of coal they can dig up. Even with coal prices surging around the world, the labor shortages are another sign that it’s going to be tough to shore up energy stockpiles."

And the pay is good. Wages of $100,000 a year are now common.

Ernie Thrasher, chief executive officer of Xcoal Energy & Resources LLC, told Bloomberg, "There’s a perception that the coal industry, if not dead, is dying. Young people just have many more choices."

Yes, they can go to college for four years and rack up $100,000 in student loan debt, come home, and get a job that pays half what coal-mining pays.

Just a reminder, I live across the river from a coal-burning electric plant.


  1. Re: All those illegals crossing our border. Put them to work in the coal mines. The pay is higher than what they can get from welfare, with the same medical fringe benefits, and the extraction, loading and shipment is all mechanized. Tennessee Ernie Ford's lament is so 1950s.

  2. “I majored in Queer Studies
    And what did I get?
    Another day older
    And-a deeper in debt
    Well, Saint George Floyd
    Doncha call me
    Cause I can’t go
    I owe my soul
    To the Capital One…”

  3. In the 80's, coal miners were trying to get Federal Black Lung pensions so they could get the hot chicks. I'm glad they pay better now.

  4. Mother Nature (The Creator) did not provide the human race with coal, wood, methane, oil, nuclear for no reason. Coal is nothing more than fossilized wood. When burned to scrub the exhaust is a very high energy fuel. All fuel we use comes from the sun. Nature has never needed solar panels or windmills it uses the power of photosynthesis to make wood and therefore coal. And bacteria to turn other organics into much needed methane and nitrogen for fertilizer. All part of the grand plan. Methane, NG when burned produces H20 and CO2. Water essential for all life and CO2 a nutrient for all plants. As far as nuclear, Gen-4 reactors were developed in the 90's to convert all the nuclear waste into power and inert waste. Safe and a good way to make safe all the nuclear waste buried in the ground. An accident waiting to happen.

    1. That accident with waste happened in the USSR more than once.chernobyl got all the publicity as they couldn't hide it .
      Gen 4 is a great concept
      the only way to have a civilization is power and lots of it.
      I have family in West Virginia coal mines, my late wife has family in Kentucky coal mines.
      I'd love it if the Greens tried to shut one down..
      I'd watch.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Don,
    Kind sir,
    we should teach all those unemployed coders to mine coal

  7. You miss the best part.

    Who was the Demos' point man in their demonization of coal?

    None other than the the lying dogfaced pony soldier.

    I love the smell of schaudenfreude in the afternoon.

  8. I would imagine that when communist China needs US coal, the Utah republicans will be offering H1B visas to communist Chinese & Indian "coal workers".

  9. One thing China needs our coal and food. Start a war Xi
    Go ahead.It would be an Evergrande time.
    They are on the ropes.With their own self inflicted punches.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. I placed on line coal fired power plants and few recognize the pollution control systems that are now available. I was to manage the retrofit of two 700 MW coal plants before their federal exemptions on emissions expired. The power was to go to CA so we needed its buy in on the bond issue. They refused so both plants were SD, the coal mine and new one was SD too. Al most all of the workers were Native Americans. That has contributed to the brownouts in CA and $1.2 billion was not spent in the regional economy.

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. China boycotting Australian coal made their situation worse…

  15. Don't discount the fact that society has essentially feminized and emasculated men and most women are interested in jobs that have a clean and comfortable environment and to be able to wear nice outfits is also popular. Coal mining is just too physically challenging and of course "dirty and disgusting". When you get rid of "men's work" you end up with everyone working in the media or government. In life you get what you tolerate.

  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  17. I've made $84, 8254 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I'm using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’AM made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Here's what I do,.for more information simply open this link ↠↠↠☛

  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.