Coal… at a tipping point?

The coal industry is in bad shape. It might be nearing a tipping point, and maybe we can help push it over! Consider the following.

  • This article from Yale’s Environment 360 says “Ontario is putting an end to coal-burning power plants.”
  • This article from UNSW (Australia) says “all fossil-fuelled power stations in Australia’s National Electricity Market could be phased out and replaced economically and reliably with commercially available renewable energy technologies by setting a ‘medium’ level carbon price.”
  • This article says even the IMF is talking about dialing back on fossil fuels [though not just coal]. “What’s the simplest way to tackle global warming? Make sure that fossil fuels are priced properly and not subsidized. That’s the core idea behind a large new report (pdf) from the International Monetary Fund.”
  • And this article in the Washington Post says “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.”

So, how could we help push coal past a tipping point? Turns out that Washington state may be critical.  The Washington Post article (above) concludes “What happens to America’s coal if we don’t burn it? Mining companies will try to ship it abroad, mainly to China. But that all depends on whether they can build new export facilities in the Pacific Northwest.” Let’s make sure that those new export facilities don’t get built.


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