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Study: CO2 emissions from coal mine drainage higher than expected

Carbon dioxide emissions from mine water could be greater than previous estimates, according to new research from West Virginia University. The study calculated that CO2 emissions from 140 coal mine drainage sites in Pennsylvania could equal those from a small power plant. “The numbers are higher than I expected to see,” said Dorothy Vesper, associate [...]

Gas expected to surpass coal in electric power generation this year

Natural gas is expected to surpass coal this year as the nation’s primary source of electric power generation, according to a new forecast from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Until the mid-2000’s about half the electricity in the country was produced by burning coal and 20 percent or less came from gas. But the fracking boom [...]

FirstEnergy idles western Pennsylvania coal plant

FirstEnergy has idled a coal burning power plant in western Pennsylvania due to historically low energy prices spurred by competition from cheap natural gas. As the fracking boom continues to unlock large quantities of gas, the nation’s electric grid is shifting away from coal.  The 340 workers at the Bruce Mansfield plant are still on the [...]

A coal plant cleans up in Indiana County

The Homer City Generating Station looms like a cathedral in the landscape of Indiana County, Pennsylvania. The plant can be seen for miles near the western foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. Four years ago, Homer City—in operation since 1969—was faced with a choice: either clean up to comply with new EPA air rules or close [...]

Obama administration halts new coal leases on federal lands

As part of the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to combat climate change, the Department of Interior announced Friday it will temporarily halt new coal leasing on federal lands. “There was broad agreement the federal coal program was in need of modernization,” says Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. The leasing moratorium will be in place while agency [...]

Gas breathes new life into coal-fired power plant

At UGI’s Hunlock Creek Energy Center near Wilkes-Barre, an old coal-fired power plant has transitioned to natural gas. It’s part of a broader trend going on across the United States, as gas begins to close in on coal as the nation’s main source of electric power. Take a look inside the plant:

Rosebud Mining furloughs 429 workers

A Western Pennsylvania coal company is furloughing 429 workers and idling 20 mines due to poor market conditions exacerbated by an usually warm winter, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Kittaning-based Rosbud Mining says the employees will keep their benefits and the company hopes to bring them back to work next month. “We would expect, based on the guidance [...]

Environmentalists say budget bill would delay compliance with Clean Power Plan

Nine environmental groups attacked a budget-related bill that was passed by the Pennsylvania Senate Thursday, saying it would “gut” environmental regulations and delay the state’s implementation of the federal government’s ambitious Clean Power Plan to cut emissions from power plants. The groups said amendments to the fiscal code, which would enable passage of the long-delayed [...]

Coal pleads its case against the Clean Power Plan to state lawmakers

Things were already pretty bad for Pennsylvania’s coal industry, and the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan will make things worse. That’s the message from industry to a joint hearing of the state’s House and Senate coal caucuses on Tuesday. “We talk about the perfect storm, what we are in the midst of is the perfect [...]

New natural gas plant to replace shuttered coal facility in Snyder County

A private equity firm has announced financing for a new natural gas power plant in central Pennsylvania’s Snyder County, along the west bank of the Susquehanna river. Panda Power, a Texas company, says Goldman Sachs, ICBC, and Investec have invested $710 million, while Siemens Financial Services will provide $125 million in equity to build the [...]

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