President Obama: 3 Year Moratorium on New Coal Mines

Open cut hard rock mining (Kalgoorlie, Western Australia) author Stephen Codrington source Wikimedia
Open cut hard rock mining (Kalgoorlie, Western Australia) author Stephen Codrington source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

President Obama has just announced a 3 year moratorium on leasing federal land for new coal mines, pending a review of the impact of coal on the global climate.

According to Scientific American;

Obama Halts Federal Coal Leasing Citing Climate Change

The U.S. temporarily halts coal leasing on federal lands to reassess its policy in light of global warming

The Obama administration on Friday brought a temporary halt to new coal mining leases on federal lands while it conducts a three-year review meant to bring coal leasing in line with U.S. climate policy.

The moratorium comes just days after Obama said in his State of the Union Address that he would push to change the way the government manages its oil and coal resources to reflect the costs they impose on both taxpayers and the planet. The moratorium takes place immediately, but does not halt coal mining and production currently underway.

“How do we manage the program that is consistent with our climate change objective? There is no short answer,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said during a news conference. “It is also clear that we need to take into account the science we have now on the environment and climate change.”

About 40 percent of all the coal produced in the U.S. comes from mines on federal public lands, mainly in the West. As of the end of 2014, there were 308 active coal mining leases on more than 464,000 acres of public lands in Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Montana and Colorado, with an additional 10,500 acres in Kentucky, Alabama and West Virginia.

Burning coal and other fossil fuels for electricity is the largest single source of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change, accounting for about 31 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gases.

Read more:

Obviously this is a potentially devastating development, for American families who depend on jobs in the US coal mining industry.

However there is another less obvious impact; As a result of failed green energy policies, Europe is becoming increasingly reliant on imports of cheap goal coal from America. If that supply of cheap coal is now threatened, the result might well be an economically damaging spike in already sky high European energy prices.

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January 16, 2016 1:44 pm

Just saw an article in today’s Denver Post. Coal’s a big deal in Colorado. Apparently there is some fine print that makes it a big ho-hum

Paul Courtney
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 17, 2016 5:10 am

Eric: Gosh, that’s awfully cynical. I have formulated my own theory, which is really scientific, because it’s based on observed data and produces repeated results with robust predictive capacity. Here it is: Progressive Dems will lie to test how far the progressive press is willing to go to report the content of the lie while avoiding exposing the lie. (Yeah, yeah, R’s lie too, blah blah-I have a theory about that as well, but for another post.) And we still have not seen the high end anomaly (ooh, just thought of that one! Sounds pretty scientific, eh?).
My data is the public record (“if you like your doctor, your plan, costs will go down…”; “Internet video…”; “Only one device for my convenience…”; “CAGW happening out your window, causing drought, rain, snow, and drought… and rain…and…). Repeatedly reported by press, but never analyzed by prog. press. Therefore, I submit the following prediction (if I’m wrong, will become a projection, but not much risk of that)- President will declare that, as a result of his actions (Paris, stopping Keystone, Michelle’s veganism), we’ve turned some corner, and seas won’t rise, earth saved, yada yada (yes, I’m predicting “yada yada”). And prog. press will cheer, reporting little-known satellite measurements showing the warming has slowed while stressing other statements (use Holdren for this) re: critical to keep sacrificing. Time will tell.

Leon Brozyna
January 16, 2016 1:45 pm

And how exactly is Obooboo planning on enforcing his moratorium after January 2017?

Reply to  Leon Brozyna
January 17, 2016 3:44 am

Dozens of lawsuits. It’s a wedge the Greens will use to tie up the process. Imagine. A compliant judge issues an injunction pending the review, etc. Then, even if the next President reverses the original Executive Order, more litigation, etc. It could be years, literally, before resolution.
It’s not very likely the Congress will pass a law baring the courts from review under Article III’s ” with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.”
It’s not very likely the states will persuade the Federals to divest themselves of current Federal land in favor of the States which would shift all property within a State to be owned by that State(s).
It’s actually more likely the States may call for an Article V convention.
Bottom line is the action, imho, it this will survive long after Obama becomes a permanent organizer in his Office of the Post-President, complete with Seal. Under any alternative. There’s just too many activist judges in the Federal system.

January 16, 2016 1:46 pm

Hi from Oz. Two things: Given the low price of coal at the moment, I cannot see anyone rushing to open a new coal mine in the US. And if they did, there is probably plenty of coal-bearing private land to choose from. Sounds to me like just another clever “sounds good but doesn’t mean anything” announcement by Obama. Roll on 2017.

Reply to  Boyfromtottenham
January 16, 2016 1:58 pm

Correct, Boyfromtottenham. New leases, so all else is BAU.

average joe
Reply to  Boyfromtottenham
January 16, 2016 3:28 pm

This is an event in principle only, unless the next president continues it. The price of coal in the US is so low right now that the entire industry is on the verge of bankruptcy with once healthy companies dropping like flies (PCX, JRCC, ANR, Arch, the list goes on). I would be surprised if there is even a single company seeking to open a new mine in the US at this time.

Reply to  average joe
January 16, 2016 6:40 pm

Must be the first thing he’s done that involved principles, then.

Reply to  average joe
January 18, 2016 3:24 am

All commodity prices are low because the global economy is collapsing. Very little new wealth is being created which is why all governments are cash strapped and borrowing themselves into oblivion. A good to look at it to get a good understanding of what’s happening, is look at it as being one big Detroit.

John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia.
Reply to  Boyfromtottenham
January 16, 2016 5:08 pm

So like his golf game, “not up to scratch”.

Ivor Ward
January 16, 2016 1:51 pm

Obama is becoming increasingly psychotic.

Reply to  Ivor Ward
January 16, 2016 2:08 pm

He’s got more flexibility now, after the election …

Reply to  Steve
January 16, 2016 2:11 pm

..After the next election, he will have even more flexibility !! Living in a fantasy world must be so much fun !

Tom Halla
January 16, 2016 1:52 pm

The question is whether Obama did something that President Cruz (or Trump, or Rubio) cannot readily undo.

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 16, 2016 2:05 pm

Obama’s ” legacy ” will be erased with a stroke of Cruz’s pen.. ( and phone ) LOL

Reply to  Marcus
January 16, 2016 8:27 pm

Cruz was born in Canada of American parents so I understand? The reason why George Romney couldn’t be president because he was born in Mexico of American parents.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Marcus
January 17, 2016 7:57 am

Ted Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father. The Naturalization Act of 1795 clearly states that a person born outside the U. S. is an American citizen at birth if one of the parents is an American and the father has previously resided in the U.S. Cruz’s parents meet those requirements. The only question that needs to be answered is : did his mother ever claim Canadian citizenship or vote in Canada. If so, and there does not seem to be any evidence of this although I do not know how much investigation has been done.
If someone uses the Naturalization Act of 1790 in their argument please advise them that this act was repealed and replaced by the Naturalization Act of 1795.
For the record I am not a Cruz supporter but the truth is the truth. And personally I wish the Congress would pass a Constitutional Amendment to clear this up. My suggestion would be to clearly state that in order to be President a natural born citizen MUST be born within the borders of the United States and both parents must be American citizens, natural or naturalized. The only exception would be if the person was born outside the U S to parents both of whom are American citizens and who are outside the U S as an official of the U S government on official government business.

Reply to  Marcus
January 19, 2016 6:31 am

If he was a citizen at birth, then he is a natural born citizen.
There are only two types of citizens, naturalized and natural born.
It’s a complete myth that you have to have been born in the US to be eligible for president.

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 16, 2016 3:52 pm

Unless Hilary C gets in…..

Tom in Florida
Reply to  GlenM
January 16, 2016 5:31 pm

The only place Hillary gets into is Leavenworth.

Reply to  GlenM
January 19, 2016 6:33 am

Most Democrats would still vote for her, even in Leavenworth.

Jeff in Calgary
Reply to  GlenM
January 19, 2016 7:21 am

Actually, polls are suggesting that Trump vs Clinton, 20%+ of dems would vote Trump

January 16, 2016 1:58 pm

” Europe is becoming increasingly reliant on imports of cheap goal from America ” ?????
Europe may someday share our ” GOALS ” , but I think you meant ” COAL ” !!
I could be wrong ! LOL

Reply to  Marcus
January 16, 2016 2:01 pm

Or was that a reference to European hockey ( cheap goals ) ???

Reply to  Marcus
January 16, 2016 2:04 pm

Obama’s ” legacy ” will be erased with a stroke of Cruz’s pen.. ( and phone ) LOL

Reply to  Marcus
January 16, 2016 2:28 pm

Come on Eric Worral or Mods, which is it …cheap American coal or cheap European goals ?? Inquiring minds need to know !!

Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 16, 2016 2:59 pm

Dang, ” cheap European goals ” would have been funnier !!

January 16, 2016 1:59 pm

Well, for Europe there is always Russian or Qatari gas. Better than American woodchips or solar panels at 50+ degrees north. Of course, there could be a pipeline war or two in all that…but we seem to be getting better at ignoring geopolitics in the search for “clean” energy.
Then there’s the South Australian option. Reduce your region to green beggary but have coal generating neighbours to take the hit for your carbon. (That neighbour needs the money to pay for an unused desal plant costing millions a week – because the usual media kiddies said there’d be drought forever, just before the last big La Nina dump.)
Have we reached Peak Adult?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  mosomoso
January 16, 2016 2:49 pm

With all the crying and bed-wetting, we’ve reached Peak Adult Diaper.

Eric Barnes
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 16, 2016 3:16 pm


January 16, 2016 2:00 pm

The present freeze across Europe will have Europeans fingering their Coal Reserves.

Reply to  ntesdorf
January 16, 2016 7:38 pm
Retired Engineer Jim
January 16, 2016 2:07 pm

What more studies (reviews) are needed? We’ve been told that the current Administration knows all the evils of coal, and the EPA will shut down all coal-fired plants. Or are they now going to study the evils of mining the coal, rather than the evils of the coal itself? Or is this just three-years more gravy train for those who conduct such reviews?

Gary Kerkin
Reply to  Retired Engineer Jim
January 16, 2016 2:29 pm

Curiously, this seems to me to be the elephant in the room: not climate change. I am not usually cynical but my nose twitched when I saw the word “review”. It always smells of money.

January 16, 2016 2:10 pm

Real atmospheric pollutants from coal such as particulates, NOX and sulfur must be attended to. Not doing so, as the Chinese are experiencing, especially with the smog in Beijing, is not acceptable. The US uses precipitators to remove the real pollutants).
Compelling evidence CO2 has no effect on climate is presented in a peer reviewed paper at
The two factors that caused average global temperature change for at least the last 300 years or so (97% match since before 1900) are identified at

Another Ian
January 16, 2016 2:17 pm

“The only renewable that matters: the Taxpayer.”
A priceless summation IMO

January 16, 2016 2:21 pm

A political stunt. US does not need new mines at present. And can be undone by executive order of the next Pres. Vote wisely if you are a US citizen.

January 16, 2016 2:24 pm


Alan Robertson
January 16, 2016 2:28 pm

Why stop with crowd- pleasing, but meaningless half- measures, Mr. President? Show us that you are a man with the courage to live up to his convictions. Go all in and order the halt of all fossil fuel usage in the United States.
While you’re at it- go ahead and issue a presidential order to ban all private ownership of firearms. You can do it. Your political base will love you even more.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
January 16, 2016 2:30 pm

I’m surprised he hasn’t yet ! Maybe he’s using it as an Ace up his sleeve to get a third term ?

Reply to  Marcus
January 16, 2016 8:40 pm

He’s still hoping that that thing in Oregon will grow into a large scale right-wing revolt — or that he can provoke one another way. He’s got 12 months left for his “Reichstag fire” to happen so he can promote himself to dictator-for-life. But I don’t think it will happen — even Trump voters have more brains than he does.

Reply to  jdgalt
January 16, 2016 8:48 pm

Are you ever curious how Jarrett gets her strategic orders ?
Surely, we all don’t sit around and believe that VJ and BO think these things up on their own.
Who are they talking to ?

January 16, 2016 2:37 pm

We’re about to see $1 a gal, or lower, gas prices…..and our pet idiot wants to figure out what coal does….after closing the coal plants
I obviously need to adjust my meds

January 16, 2016 2:42 pm

A year from now, Obama won’t be President. He should be prosecuted for his crimes against humanity, and sentenced to work in–a coal mine.

Reply to  Ronald P Ginzler
January 16, 2016 2:46 pm

Poetic Justice ??

Reply to  Marcus
January 17, 2016 6:35 pm

He’ll miss the 2:00 AM phone call because of an unstable grid.

Don Perry
Reply to  Ronald P Ginzler
January 16, 2016 3:20 pm

Four more days before you can say that.

Reply to  Ronald P Ginzler
January 16, 2016 5:18 pm

Devo agrees . And they have a comment on our pres, too.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Ronald P Ginzler
January 16, 2016 5:38 pm

Along with his new theme song:

Reply to  Ronald P Ginzler
January 16, 2016 9:20 pm

Sorry a chain gang with the others like Holden, Jarrett (equal opportunity after all) all in the same line. And along a Highway breaking rocks where everyone can see it, some where down in a pit he’d be slacking his ass off!

January 16, 2016 2:52 pm

Obama said ISIS is “contained” the day before the attacks in Paris, he said ISIS was not a threat in the U.S. hours before the San Bernardino attacks happened and in his State of the Union address on Tuesday he said “Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction” by the close on Friday the Stock market dropped over 550 points. He also said in his speech both sides have to “work together” to get things done just days after vetoing the health care bill.

Reply to  elmer
January 16, 2016 2:58 pm

Everything Obama touches turns to…Shiite’ !!

Gary Hladik
Reply to  Marcus
January 16, 2016 3:09 pm

I see what you did there! 🙂

Reply to  Marcus
January 16, 2016 3:25 pm

…Dang…busted !! 🙂

Reply to  Marcus
January 17, 2016 9:41 am

And the Sunni shines out of his backside…. !!

Jeff in Calgary
Reply to  elmer
January 19, 2016 7:26 am

He also made fun of Republicans for being afraid of widows just hours before the female Paris terrorist blew herself up trying to kill cops (only killed a K9).

January 16, 2016 3:06 pm

What you should have learned is you can’t trust Wikimedia for image captions. Looks more like a central Queensland coal mine.

Reply to  krm
January 16, 2016 3:27 pm

It’s Kalgoorlie. How thick do you think those Central Queensland coal measures are? (FG- coal isn’t a hard rock. The term “hard rock mining” is used to distinguish between coal and other mining)

Reply to  krm
January 16, 2016 3:33 pm

Ahhh Latitude- you’d trust an ACF propaganda picture over Wikipedia?
(ACF- Australian Conservation Foundation)

Reply to  krm
January 16, 2016 3:51 pm

The big pit in Kalgoorlie mines gold- though I believe some coal is mined near Esperance.

Reply to  krm
January 16, 2016 3:53 pm

Buying up all the previous small leases (many of which has become nonviable after 100 years of mining) to allow this “super pit” in Kalgoorlie is the lesser know of Alan Bond’s two great legacies.

Reply to  krm
January 16, 2016 5:30 pm
Reply to  krm
January 16, 2016 6:27 pm

gnome… krm’s question again

Reply to  krm
January 16, 2016 8:06 pm

That black shiny rock looks a lot like coal to me. But it is far away.

Reply to  krm
January 16, 2016 8:39 pm

It’s a moot point. Why would you use a picture of a working Australian coal mine in an article about the death of American coal mining? A better picture would be of a ghost town. America has plenty of those.

Mike the Morlock
January 16, 2016 3:19 pm

Seems he is trying to make things as hard as possible for the Democrats next election
The immigration raids are driving the party faithful into a tizzy. Now this? Just write off all 25 coal producing states?
Its going to be fun to them run on this administrations record.

Reply to  Mike the Morlock
January 16, 2016 3:29 pm

narcissistic sociopath comes to mind………

January 16, 2016 3:36 pm

lol if not from the usa then from russia for a cheaper price

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
January 16, 2016 3:47 pm

The actions of a 5th Columnist. Who is he working for? Where is the FBI? Where is the House Committee for Unamerican Activities?

Reply to  Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
January 17, 2016 12:09 am

Where is the House Committee for Unamerican Activities?

January 16, 2016 3:54 pm

You know, I’ve heard stories where whole factories are built in India but are never opened for operation. Indian politicians won’t allow them to be connected to the utilities because the politicians don’t think that those are jobs worthy of Indian labor.
Why is Obama taking us down a similar path?

Reply to  ScienceABC123
January 16, 2016 10:06 pm

There is a thinkspeak amongst the elite that perceives current corporate bastions are the equivalent of slavers. Mr Lucas let it slip in an interview. He was alluding to Disney but I can imagine stuff like this gets said about other american institutions in elite circles. It will get lost in the sauce of info but it is worth reading again if you havent seen it. This type of attitude towards bleeds thru much of the “disapproval” of americana.

January 16, 2016 4:13 pm

Wasn’t his pal Soros buying up coal companies recently?
Is this some sort of wrangling for a UN gig in a couple of years? Or some sort of money funnel like the Clintons do with their bullshit?
In any event – I detect shenanigans.

Reply to  grumpyguy
January 17, 2016 3:37 pm

Shenanigans??? Such a cynic.

Craig Moore
January 16, 2016 4:20 pm

I wonder how this affects Indian reservation coal?

Reply to  Craig Moore
January 16, 2016 8:34 pm

The moratorium does not apply to metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel, or to coal leasing on tribal land.

I hear there is a test, but it will be open book.

January 16, 2016 4:55 pm

Obama, a truly new breed of politician.
Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do to your country.

Ziiex Zeburz
Reply to  davidmhoffer
January 17, 2016 3:10 am

A House on the beach in Hawaii perhaps and pay the Navy for security

January 16, 2016 5:06 pm

I wonder if the coal workers’ unions contributed to the Obama campaign.

Reply to  littlepeaks
January 16, 2016 8:35 pm
this link probably has that info.

Jeff in Calgary
Reply to  littlepeaks
January 19, 2016 7:29 am

Wouldn’t that be crazy if the Unions woke up and started supporting the pro-job republican candidates?

January 16, 2016 5:10 pm

I said up-line that he’s an “idiot” because he doesn’t seem to realize that cheap energy – cheap electricity is the key to prosperity. Prosperity is something he is not in favor of. (Except maybe for Iran, and other Muslim countries for some reason.)
Prosperity in any country will counter any effects that severe weather events bestow upon the country/city/communities, etc.

Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
January 16, 2016 8:39 pm

Cheap energy is nice. One of the reasons the most of the public doesn’t get rattled about higher cost of energy is that they are conditioned to believe that they are a wasteful people. Safe spaces to quietly lash yourself in the darkness will be part of future LEED Gold Star awards.

January 16, 2016 5:53 pm

And he actually believes that someday his face will be carved on Mount Rushmore. Wow.

Reply to  Klem
January 16, 2016 6:07 pm

…it already is–in the ruble at the foot of the mountain.

Reply to  RockyRoad
January 17, 2016 1:37 am

Well there is a mountain here in the North Cherokee National Forest named for him, Big Butt, and a portion of Norris Lake near Knoxville commemorates his administration, Do Help Me Holler (that’s Hollow for all you Yankees and other furriners).

January 16, 2016 6:03 pm

Yeah, I can see how closing down Federal coal leasing in the US will cause 2,400 coal-fired power plants in China to clean up their environmental impact.

January 16, 2016 6:04 pm

It won’t be his face on Mt. Rushmore, it will be the other part of his anatomy to remind Americans what a Jack @ss he was !! LOL

Northern Eye
January 16, 2016 6:12 pm

Depending on how one interprets the “climate goals” of the Paris accord (which doesn’t even have Congressional approval), even a 3-year EIS cannot determine the global impact of any given Federal lease. The folks most immediately impacted are large Western coal mines who are close to reaching the outer limits of their current lease areas; extensions and additions to their lease areas, if they are included in this closure, would mean their closure in 2016-17. Truly, I think this administration thinks that the only jobs worth having in this country involve sitting at a Starbucks, pushing digits into the Net-sphere.

Reply to  Northern Eye
January 16, 2016 8:05 pm

” I think this administration thinks that the only jobs worth having in this country involve sitting at a Starbucks”
There are more jobs in solar installations at the moment than in coal. Well, except Nevada thanks to their GOP legislature. A state with no coal and lots of sunshine. What a waste.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  trafamadore
January 17, 2016 8:53 am

There could be lots of jobs hiring some people to go around breaking windows and others to fix the broken windows. The Nevada legislature apparently has decided that economics trumps “saving the planet”. Go figure.

Reply to  trafamadore
January 18, 2016 8:53 am

I can’t have solar panels. NV Energy has contracted with reliable and continuous sources at a wholesale rate to supply my electricity. Now some rich dudes expect me to pay them retail rates for the sunshine that falls on their roofs during the day when they doesn’t need the extra electricity. And neither do I.
It costs all the ratepayers money. Think about it. Does somebody say, “Okay, everybody working in the geothermal, natural gas, and coal-fired plants, shut down and go home because the sun is shining.”
No. We end up paying duplicate for both the reliable and the unreliable energy sources.
The installers knew there was a cap, and they reached it. The solar owners will still be paid wholesale rates for the electricity they produce. Frankly, they should just be happy with their energy savings and leave it at that.

Reply to  trafamadore
January 19, 2016 6:40 am

So you think we should raise taxes even more in order to create more do nothing jobs?

January 16, 2016 6:24 pm

There is a states rights issue brewing out West. While the occupiers might have forgotten their snacks, the ranchers, miners and loggers are fed up with Federal Land Management. States are going to start challenging this Federal overreach.

January 16, 2016 6:25 pm

A buddy of mine has said, the most renewable resource on this planet is people. Trees take 80 or more years to grow fully but people take less than 18 years (less in 3rd world countries). With this sort of turnover rate it is no wonder it is the easiest resource to cultivate (i.e. the tax payer).

January 16, 2016 6:45 pm

This man is poison to the US economy, and the chickens are finaly coming home to roost…and we will all pay the price.

Reply to  co2islife
January 16, 2016 10:09 pm

Well, not all of us. Money has been leaving the equity markets in earnest since mid 2015. Top tier investors were some of the first to get out on American markets. The casino treats its big players better.

January 16, 2016 7:18 pm

We are killing all these jobs for this fraud? The ironly of the fact that the Modern Democratic Party was essentialy started under FDR largely due to John L Lewis of the Coal Unions. Rely on the Democrats at your own Peril.

January 16, 2016 7:27 pm

John L Lewis

He switched to Roosevelt in a strategic move designed to squeeze “concessions” out of the Democratic administration. Experience soon demonstrated that the Democratic Party and the president would hamper and restrict the CIO whenever possible without making it too obvious. However, Lewis went through his whole CIO period without unmasking Roosevelt. Then, when Lewis, enraged by the rightward and warlike course of the administration, broke with Roosevelt, he was helpless before the Roosevelt myth which he himself had helped create and spread in the labor movement.

January 16, 2016 7:58 pm

Good time to buy Peabody stock. Anyone? Unless they go chaptering, it can only go up, right?

January 16, 2016 8:09 pm

Permits for Coal mining is not the only ones delayed. All new and extended mining permits have been put on hold. The ObamaNation only has one more year to collapse the American economy. Remember; the Fundamental Change of America!…pg

John W. Garrett
January 16, 2016 8:20 pm

From Wikipedia:
“The United States uses about 1 billion tons of coal a year, with about 40 percent of the coal currently coming from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming…Almost all of the coal in the Powder River Basin is federally owned and further mine expansions will require a series of federal and state approvals…”

January 16, 2016 8:26 pm

“…ranchers, miners and loggers are fed up with Federal Land Management. States are going to start challenging this Federal overreach.”
Yeah, it’s just criminal the way the ranchers are having to pay 15% of the leasing rate charged by the private sector. How dare the federal government charge them for using public lands!

January 16, 2016 8:30 pm

“At this point, it is obvious that the President and his administration won’t be satisfied until coal is completely eradicated from our energy mix. Their foolish crusade takes away one of America’s greatest strengths—our diverse mix of energy sources. If the President wants electricity rates to skyrocket—as he once said he did—he’s on the right path.”

If you want an idea to stick, you have to keep at it.
Institutionalize it.
It doesn’t matter if each of your moves amount to tangible progress..
It’s the image of the thing. The brand.
They are a persistent bunch.
Reevaluating the “true” price of coal is what they want.
Thinkspeak it to be more expensive than it should be and voila’.

Reply to  Knute
January 16, 2016 10:50 pm

+ a gazillion.

January 16, 2016 8:32 pm

“Obviously this is a potentially devastating development, for American families who depend on jobs in the US coal mining industry.”
No, it is not. Coal mining can continue under existing leases on federal lands. At current production rates of roughly 1B tons/year, there is 20 years of production still left to be mined.

Reply to  Chris
January 16, 2016 8:43 pm

Move along now. Nothing to see here.
We will send you our report for the new base price of a ton of the black stuff.
It will all be transparent and we will give you a public comment period.

Reply to  knutesea
January 16, 2016 9:37 pm

@ knutesea 8:43 pm, In one of those “town hall” “discussions”? ( Oh btw did you find the Chernobyl link I send you the one on BBC?)

Reply to  tobias smit
January 16, 2016 9:57 pm

Thanks for the followthru TS.

January 16, 2016 9:28 pm

There seems to be a lot of confusion in that the original post headlines a moratorium on NEW COAL MINES, and the quoted Scientific American article reports a temporary halt to NEW COAL LEASES on federal lands. Big difference. In coal producing Western States, where surface mining techniques dominate (Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, for examples), mines were developed in areas with coal deposits close to the surface and the majority of available coal is on federal land. Existing mines rely on federal leases as the lifeblood of the mine for continuing operation. In short, shutting down the coal leasing program will eventually shut down the mines that need them to replenish coal that has been mined. No leases, no coal to mine, no mine. A point of information; there have been very few large scale mines developed in recent years, and that will not change until there is a change at the top.

January 16, 2016 9:29 pm

Soros Steyn and others of that ilk already are doing that and if you want to get on the band wagon 2-3 years from now those companies will be back on their feet with different management and after the chapter 11 BS is finished, just like they did with the Auto industry. ( Oh they are still shipping coal to China and India of course). The whole thing is a game to them I can’t wait for mother nature to take it’s course with these old timers.

Alastair Brickell
January 16, 2016 9:32 pm

You’re absolutely right…there is, and will never be, any coal mining in Kalgoorle (absolutely nothing to do with whacky global warming policies though). As a geologist who has worked at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia this looks like the KCGM Superpit to me…the largest gold mine in Australia run by Newmont and Barrick Mining. The rocks in the pit formed at least 2200 million years before the first plants lived on earth and thus long before the first coal formed. Still not a big enough hole to fit all the AGW idiots into though, but not small enough for Al Gore’s ego.

Leo Smith
January 16, 2016 10:52 pm

The two prongs of WW IV are now in full swing.
Prong one: the propaganda war, cultural Marxism (Political Correctness) and Climate Change, the disaster movie and
Prong two: Control of Fossil energy, having seen off Nuclear by means of propaganda.
Fracking in the USA & Iran ready to pump its guts out, and who suffers? the countries we love to hate, that wear towels on their heads, drink vodka or exist on S America

January 16, 2016 11:02 pm

Obama is a man who knows how to topple the “great Satan” – from the inside. He’s done more in 8 years to destabilize this nation than decades of cold war ever could. He showed the world that the constitutional safeguards of the three branches of government cannot stop a determined man from undoing the greatest experiment in the history of the world. I’m just left wondering what he got out of it aside from the great golf and vacations.

Reply to  dp
January 17, 2016 7:11 am

15 virgins !!

Brian H
January 16, 2016 11:14 pm

About a trillion, I hear. Various havens.

January 17, 2016 12:58 am

“Burning coal and other fossil fuels for electricity is the largest single source of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change, accounting for about 31 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gases” – Scientific American
Still doesn’t prove that our emissions are behind any climate change.

Reply to  4TimesAYear
January 17, 2016 4:58 am

True, but these greenhouse gasses directly contribute to a 15% increase in world-wide foodstuff production, valued at roughly $1.5 trillion annually.
They never admit there’s any benefit to fossil fuel emissions–if they did, they’d become the laughingstock of the world.
Oh, wait! They already are!

Mike Jonas
January 17, 2016 4:30 am

Cui bono? Gas.

January 17, 2016 5:06 am

There’s only one solution to the killer global warming scam: Your vote.

January 17, 2016 5:30 am

The old song “sixteen tons” and climate forecasting:
Some people say people are made outta mud
Alarmists and warmists, they’re chewing their cud,
Chewing their cud and follow Al Gore
A mind that’s a-weak can you ask for much more?
More than one megawatt, and what did they get?
Another prognosis and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call ’em ’cause you must let ‘em be
They sold their souls to the IPCC.
They came in one mornin’ when the sun didn’t shine
They picked up their papers and continued the grind
They had sixteen conditions, mostly falsified bull
And the straw boss said “Well, a-bless my soul”.
More than one megawatt, and what did they get?
Another prognosis and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call ’em ’cause you must let ‘em be
They sold their souls to the IPCC.
They came in one mornin’, it was drizzelin’ rain
their prognoses had failed them again and again
The boss harshly told them, You will do many more
Do as I tell you, and agree with Al Gore.
More than one megawatt, and what did they get?
Another prognosis and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call ’em ’cause you must let ‘em be
They sold their souls to the IPCC.
The threatenin’ drought, it just didn’t last.
and hidin’ the warming that occurred in the past
Their ol’ man Mann and his hockey stick.
Conditions like that nothing ever will click.
More than one megawatt, and what did they get?
Another prognosis and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call ’em ’cause you must let ‘em be
They sold their souls to the IPCC.

January 17, 2016 11:23 am

this moratorium is valid until about noon on January 20th, 2017…
President Trump can fix this too… 😉

January 17, 2016 2:41 pm

A big hole of coal – may be difficult to see a Barack Obama standing at the bottom of it.
But there he is. When you’re in a hole, stop digging; is the usual advice.
But the president is digging like a Stakhanovite.
US citizens are growing sick and tired of climate alarmism and its transparent dishonesty.
But Barack is making climate the flagship of his presidency,
dooming his party to November defeat.

January 17, 2016 3:16 pm

The actual length of the “3-year moratorium” will be less than the 11 months left in Obama’s Regime. Time to buy KOL and TONS and ride them up.

January 17, 2016 6:46 pm

The POS has 368 days left. NOT 3 years.

Reply to  vrajavala
January 17, 2016 10:57 pm

I’m sure Obama thinks the next President will respect his wishes, just like he would have respected a George Bush moratorium restricting transfers out of Gitmo. /Sarc

January 17, 2016 8:37 pm

Caligula was no more insane.

Thomas Homer
January 18, 2016 12:38 pm

If the goal is to move to another power generation paradigm, the first step is not to dismantle the existing power generation system but rather leverage it.
The current administration has now been in office longer than the time between JFK’s “before this decade is out …” speech and the moon landing. Imagine if this administration had vision from the outset.
Imagine if the early goal within this power generation shift had been to focus on the transition of Washington D.C. (federal land) to be entirely electric. With the idea of all power for transport, heat, construction etc. being electric within DC, we could leverage the massive coal deposits of West Virginia to produce the power necessary for the transition and subsequently to power the new electric infrastructure. And then to power the construction of the new power generation system whatever that may be.
We would see in a real world example the logistics of how well windmills/solar/hydro can sustain and meet all the requirements of a sizable urban center, and if it succeeds then we can extend this paradigm throughout the northeast corridor.

Thomas Homer
Reply to  Thomas Homer
January 18, 2016 12:47 pm

… and once we acknowledge that CO2 is beneficial to carbon-based life forms and the carbon cycle of life, then we could learn how to burn the coal where it resides in West Virginia and transport the power not the coal to the new grid.

January 18, 2016 12:48 pm

Politicians push down the value of these companies so that their buddies, including George Soros, can swoop in and buy them for bargain basement prices.

January 18, 2016 2:04 pm

Nuclear Energy Institute periodically provides an energy market report for the US power industry.
“The mix of generating units that supply electricity in the United States is undergoing a significant transformation. Many older coal plants are being decommissioned as the industry adapts to sustained low costs of competing natural gas generating units and the effects of environmental regulations.”
Since I have retired, I have not closely followed the market. The closest thing to a flat line is the cost of coal to make electricity. Magically ‘decommissioned’ coal plants start making power again.
Mild winters and summers make for cheap natural gas. I am old school. Making power with natural gas should be criminal. We need to heat our homes and dry crops. Those who fail to learn the lessons of history ….

Reply to  Retired Kit P
January 18, 2016 2:07 pm

Hey Mr Old School
What’s your opinion on this … picked it up from the British blog.
Package nukes by 2025 ?

Reply to  knutesea
January 19, 2016 12:45 pm

Small reactors are great for ships. That’s what I learned on. However, nuclear power benefits from economy of scale.
I do not think there is a market for small stationary nuke plants.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
January 19, 2016 1:07 pm

Thanks Mr Kit

Jeff in Calgary
January 19, 2016 7:09 am

I see increased fighting over the concept of “federal lands”. States are soon going to unilaterally declare the return to the state of lands stolen by the fed. So far it has been the ranchers that have been making this fight. Obama is now spreading the fight to the blue collar coal workers (and their powerful unions).

James at 48
January 19, 2016 8:18 am

This may be unconventional war.
This forces focus on natural gas including obviously shale plays. Of course, those shale plays also yield unimaginable quantities of oil.
Yesterday I heard that there are gas stations selling Regular for 80 cents a gallon in the Upper Midwest.
And meanwhile, OPEC are freakin’ freakin’!

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