What Paris Agreement? Worker Shortage Impeding Global Coal Production Surge

Essay by Eric Worrall

h/t be.nice – As global demand for coal skyrockets, a shortage of coal miners is the biggest impediment the growing coal renaissance.

Coal Mines Struggle From Worker Shortage As Demand Soars Worldwide


In Benwood, West Virginia, money comes in as coal goes out.

“They can’t mine it fast enough,” said Benwood Economic Development Director Frank Longwell. “That’s how we pay our bills here in the community.” [bold, links added]

Longwell remembers when coal mines were so popular that they were turning away job applicants. You can make $100,000 a year mining coal in Benwood.

But coal miners are going through a hiring shortage, which is hurting production.

“The main complaint that I hear on a daily basis: ‘We need people,’” Longwell said. “Some of the production does get cut back because they don’t have the people.”

Read more: https://climatechangedispatch.com/coal-mines-struggle-from-worker-shortage-as-demand-soars-worldwide/

According to Bloomberg, China is leading the rebound in coal demand, in an effort to protect economic growth and shield their economy from further energy shocks.

h/t Mike Maguire;

China Briefing, 17 March 2022: Beijing ‘doubling down on fossil fuels’; China’s CO2 emissions increase; Coal production growth

This is an online version of Carbon Brief’s weekly China Briefing email newsletter. Subscribe for free here.


Chinese leaders are “doubling down on fossil fuels” amid “growing” fears of global energy shortages and “rising” concerns of an economic slump, according to Bloomberg. The news came after the Chinese government repeatedly underlined the importance of energy security at a series of key political meetings last week. 上微信关注《碳简报》

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said last week that China was the main driving force behind a global CO2 emissions “rebound” past pre-pandemic levels. Separately, an energy advisor to the Chinese government told state TV that China’s CO2 emissions had grown by 350m tonnes last year, more than double the average annual increase in recent years.

Read more: https://www.carbonbrief.org/china-briefing-17-march-2022-beijing-doubling-down-on-fossil-fuels-chinas-co2-emissions-increase-coal-production-growth/

As WUWT reported yesterday, India has also joined the coal production race, announcing plans to increase coal production by 400 million tons in the next two years, and double coal use by 2040. A 400 million ton coal production surge would increase global CO2 emissions by 1.5 billion tons per year.

Obviously this is all part of a big carbon plot to suppress renewable energy, right? Those fools, don’t they realise renewables are the cheapest form of new build electricity?

I mean surely it couldn’t be that greens have lied their butts off all along about the viability and cost of renewables, and countries like India and China have woken up that greens have been peddling trash all this time, both their climate emergency claims and their useless green energy “solutions”?

Do I need a /sarc tag?

The sad part of this story is a lot of the coal workers in West Virginia and elsewhere are mining is being shipped to Asia, to India and China. This is great news for West Virginian coal miners, but what about everyone else?

Imagine what a boost the US economy would experience if US workers were free to join the low cost manufacturing party, if that cheap coal was being shipped to US manufacturers.

Sadly the economically deranged policies of our net zero obsessed hypocrite politicians are choking off this opportunity.

Instead of competing toe to toe with the Asian manufacturing boom, US workers are increasingly being frozen out and forced to stay on the sidelines. Our hypocrite politicians are still facilitating the use of coal, the coal is still being burned, but the manufacturing boom being fueled by the burning of all that exported coal is mostly making other people rich.

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Geoff Sherrington
May 13, 2022 10:57 pm

It is quite hard to find economic analysis papers that give a comprehensive comparison of the major electrical generation methods, fossil fuel, nuclear, hydro, wind and solar.
There are many papers that cherry pick parts of the whole generation process. Many of these conclude that renewables are now cheaper than fossil fuels.
In my Australia, we have a consolidated grid, the NEM, in the eastern states that is a neat system for analysis. However, it is hard to get data for analysis because you really have to be inside the industry, or risk being fed more cherries. There are a few authors who have tried this, for example independent economist Dr Alan Moran
and Rafe Champion et al
Net Zero Casualties – Rite-ON! (riteon.org.au)
and the group WattClarity
Cost Confusion – WattClarity
and more –

OTOH, the federal government bodies AEMO and the CSIRO have large, expensive papers that purport to show the benefits of renewables –
Renewables still the cheapest new-build power in Australia – CSIRO
and pro-renewables energy groups, of which there are many:
Cost Of Renewable Energy vs Fossil Fuels & Nuclear – Better Meets Reality

On the global scale, there is a pressing need for a couple of papers that are comprehensive, definitive and that include all of the significant cost components that are met in actual day-to-day operation. There could well be some papers, but those that find against renewables tend not to be publicized.

Greatly appreciated if readers here can give links to the best of the “neutral” papers that they have found. “Neutral” here means no cherry picking, no best case examples. Geoff S

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
May 14, 2022 3:35 am

My apologies for some duplication,
This article was in moderation. I thought it had been lost and wrote a similar one that appears further below. Geoff S

Steve Richards
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
May 14, 2022 9:10 am

Same in the UK. When GWPF asked for the ‘workings’ behind the net zero calculations, the government department responsible plus the committee for climate change, fought against release for many months. Since it has been released, the phrase, ‘oops!’ springs to mind when examples of unbelievable best case scenarios used to justify net zero and the like.

You know you will have a hard job on your hands when governments blatantly lie to the people.

Old Cocky
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
May 14, 2022 4:32 pm

A number of related topics might be:

  • facility economic life
  • energy required to commission/decommission
  • annual CO2 emissions per unit of electricity output
  • electricity output characteristics (steady state, scalable, intermittent)
  • MTBF
  • maintenance intervals / length of downtime
  • unconstrained capacity factor

and probably lots more

May 13, 2022 11:11 pm

It’s like this weather nutzis-
The Modern World Can’t Exist Without These Four Materials – Mass News
and without them you can’t even begin to satisfy the battery transport fantasy-
Without enough EVs to replace gas-guzzlers, net-zero is doomed to fail (thenextweb.com)

If these people were serious and had their heads screwed on they’d be fast tracking nuclear power plants everywhere. Problem is they’re either technically illiterate morons or carpet bagging shucksters or some combination of the three. Doesn’t really matter which as their prescriptions are doomed to fail now and along with that the serious questioning of their theoretical underpinnings will be inevitable.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  observa
May 14, 2022 9:31 am


See the buffoonery the bureaucrats in the UK are up to:
Mr. Crooks ( a complete moron ), UK Coal Authority, added:
“Heating accounts for 44% of energy use in the UK and 32% of its air pollution. It’s ironic that mining coal, a fossil fuel, would provide access to a low carbon, clean air, energy source that will last far longer than the 200 years of intensive mining that created this opportunity. The maps we’ve jointly produced is a visual indication of how real and exciting this opportunity is.”

Mike Maguire
May 13, 2022 11:23 pm

Thanks Eric!
China and India being UNDEVELOPED countries according to the Climate Accord, emit a special kind of harmless CO2 that doesn’t hurt the planet….sarc (-:

Unlike the planet killing CO2 that developed countries in the West emit (-:

As we all know, CO2 is well mixed in the global atmosphere, so a molecule of CO2 from Asia looks just like a molecule of CO2 from Europe or the US.

China and India are making smart economic decisions, burning coal which will lead to more future prosperity and energy security.

The West, in killing abundant coal, is also killing it’s energy security.


Screenshot 2022-05-14 at 01-21-09 Infographic Natural Gas Quickly Outpacing Coal.png
Steve Case
Reply to  Mike Maguire
May 13, 2022 11:55 pm

“The West…is…killing it’s energy security.”

Which seems to be what the people running the show want.

Mike Maguire
Reply to  Steve Case
May 14, 2022 8:21 am

You gents make great points.
The most profound element to them is this:

* Powering hundreds of millions of electric vehicles will create additional demand. 

* The electricity grid has historically been pushed to the limit in the Summers, during heat waves(that usually feature little to no wind) and during intense cold(that features weak to no sunshine). During these peak demand periods that WILL ALWAYS happen from future weather, having reliable electricity is a life or death matter. Using solar and wind exclusively provide a near 0% realistic chance to cover those most critical energy demand periods.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Steve Case
May 14, 2022 10:12 am

Which seems to be what the people running the show get paid under the table to do.
And it’s not just the Biden Crime Family (TM) lots of money for Congresscritters as well. Plus the $ from Russia, UAE, and China that funds the Sierra Club and the like, funneled thru off shore accounts.

Reply to  Mike Maguire
May 14, 2022 12:43 am

Its quite possible that in the near future underdeveloped countries will be far better off than the developed countries.

May 13, 2022 11:59 pm

White high heals babes of Essex are revolting, I mean they up in the arms over the view wrecking electricity pilons meant to connect the London’s ‘net zero’ luvvies to the North Sea offshore wind farms, the BBC is reporting.

May 14, 2022 12:10 am

Griff said coal was finished 🙂

Meanwhile record profits are being generated from it from those very companies Griff was sure would go broke.

Matthew Sykes
May 14, 2022 12:45 am

These globalist Frankfurt School Marxists who fled Germany in the 1930s and set up in the US, becoming professors, media Moghuls, etc etc etc have the express intent of destroying western capitalism, and it’s culture in general.

You might know Critical Theory as one of Frankfurt Marxisms tenets.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union those supporting communism latched on to the green movement as a way to destroy the west, now the Soviet Union could not.

Patrick More has attested to this.

Net Zero is intended to damage western economy, that is its goal, if you dont realise this you dont recognise the enemy, and that enemy is a cancer in our culture, the cancer of Marxism.

We are being destroyed by it, in our schools, our factories, our homes. We have to fight it, this is what I dont understand about our lazy, weak mindset, we are walking into a nightmare, it is already starting, and we dont have the courage to even name the enemy!

Reply to  Matthew Sykes
May 14, 2022 4:27 am

Matthew is on to something.

Please see this substack, for example, by Professor C. Bradley Thompson here: https://cbradleythompson.substack.com/p/critical-race-theory-and-the-long?s=r for more on the Frankfurt School and its relation to CRT.

But more than that, it seems to me that the whole enterprise of subversion of common sense rests on the destruction of reason and logic (yes, I know that’s basically circular reasoning.) I’m not sure this was planned or unconscious but the growth of theories such as CRT and catastrophe warming depend on a, shall we say, less-than-rigorous application of reason.

I’ll name the enemy, then: “the sleep of reason produces monsters.”

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Don132
May 14, 2022 10:17 am

Logic and reason are the tools that White Supremacists use to oppress POC. Surely you know that, you domestic terrorist you…..

Matthew Sykes
Reply to  Don132
May 15, 2022 5:06 am

The overweening goal of Critical Theory was and is the theoretical and practical delegitimization of all Western moral, social, cultural, religious, legal, political, and economic institutions.”

Bang on, and climate change can be called ‘Critical Climate Theory’.

NOw when the hell are we going to stand up to this rotten cancer?

Geoff Sherrington
May 14, 2022 2:01 am

There is a pressing need for studies that compare the full operating and capital costs of fossil-fueled electricity versus “renewables”. There are many studies that purport to show the difference, but cherry picking of cost segments is widespread.
It seems that authors need to be industry insiders so that they have experience in knowing what weight to give to cost components that have wide variability.
In Australia, we are hampered by the dominance of studies like one by government bodies Australian Energy Market Operator AEMO and CSIRO.
Renewables still the cheapest new-build power in Australia – CSIRO
Such reports fail to include full costs of integration into existing grid systems, costs of frequency control and more, while being handicapped by trying to include political consequences from a policy to go for “net zero carbon by 2050”.

Globally, can readers please give links to studies that are inclusive of relevant cost segments and use realistic discount rates and other proven economic indexes.

It really is quite important to quote well done, authoritative studies because there is a great deal of endorsement of “favourable” studies by woke organisations and policy makers, with little reference to dissenting papers.

We have a set of conditions like Ravetz listed for post-normal science –

  1. Facts are uncertain
  2. Values are in conflict
  3. Stakes are high
  4. Immediate action is required

Maybe coal/fossil fuel producers need to invoke the precautionary principle and withhold supplies pending clarity of actual costs. Geoff S

May 14, 2022 2:08 am

The anti-Cambo loons think ‘efficiency’ is the answer – ie don’t use any electricity…

“ Kwasi, you are lying to the UK public. You are trying to make us believe that by drilling new oil and gas we will be safe.

But in reality you are trapping us into an unaffordable energy system and you are destroying our future. The climate crisis will destroy our future.’ “


Mental illness is our biggest problem

Reply to  fretslider
May 14, 2022 4:06 am

Every year for a decade UK electricity demand has increased due to improved efficiency

Reply to  griff
May 14, 2022 5:38 am

And loss of much industry..

Reply to  griff
May 14, 2022 5:41 am

Your understanding of the law of supply and demand is as awfully good as that of the Biden administration.

Reply to  Scissor
May 14, 2022 10:02 am

Didn’t you know? He’s one of Biden’s top advisors. We’re screwed.


Reply to  griff
May 14, 2022 6:16 am

There bills increased as well with all that cheap renewable energy 🙂

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  griff
May 14, 2022 5:31 pm

If efficiency improved then demand would decrease

Math is racist tho so we cannot be sure

Reply to  griff
May 14, 2022 11:22 pm

“Demand” has increased because of “improved efficiency” ?


Demand has increased in lockstep with population.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  griff
May 15, 2022 6:23 am

Looks like you told an unintentional truth there, Griff. As efficiency of an energy source increases, more applications for that energy source are found and demand INCREASES.

Of course, if your inference is that ‘renewables’ have increased efficiency and thereby increased demand, you are delusional; idiotic government policies do not constitute a rational reaction of open markets, which would never react to more expensive, less reliable energy with higher demand.

The intermittency of ‘renewables’ (i.e., wind and solar) is fatal, as it makes electric energy both unreliable and extremely expensive. Pushing unreliable and extremely expensive energy while simultaneously trying to force increased dependence on that type of energy (i.e., electricity with an increasing proportion of worse-than-useless wind and solar) is sheer lunacy.

So energy efficiency will not ‘save us’ to ANY degree from the fatal flaw of ‘renewables,’ it magnifies the problem.

Rod Evans
May 14, 2022 2:26 am

The doom mongers or climate activists, to give them their preferred collective title, have finally reached the ‘coal face’ of reality….
The two most populous nations on earth, together making up over one third of the world’s population, have said ‘No’ to the ban on fossil fuels. The demand by the delusional climate activists has been firmly and fully rejected by India and China.
If saving the planet was a real thing, then why have 3 billion people rejected the call?
Maybe, it is because the hypocrisy of the Climate Alarm movement is so constantly on display? Whether it is the clothes they wear, which are made from fossil fuel products or the transport they choose, which is either fossil fuel powered on board, or fossil fuels charged batteries, their position and demands are compromised.
The greatest hypocrisy though, remains their demand to close down all nuclear power plants. That seems an odd position for the alarmists to advance. Why do they have that deep visceral dislike for nuclear? Of all the energy options available to us, the most secure virtually inexhaustible, and cleanest environmentally option by far is nuclear power. It is also potentially the lowest cost option too. The only reason nuclear is not already the lowest cost energy option, is bureaucratic blocks put in place to slow the build out of the power stations.
If Climate activist genuinely wanted to help reduce pollution and clean up the environment they would be demanding nuclear power, but they don’t.
So why don’t they do that?
It is because the Climate alarm movement, is really the anti nuclear organisation that became obsolete when the Iron Curtain or Wall came down in 1989. The climate alarm movement is nothing more than the redeployment of the soviet funded, Ban the Bomb/ban all nuclear activity, team.
The anti nuclear legacy mindset, that was fermented during the cold war and paid for by the Marxist inspired socialists, still prevails. Even though the Ban the Bomb now climate alarmists changed horses back in 1989 they can not exist without the foundations that fund them.

Reply to  Rod Evans
May 14, 2022 4:06 am

“The demand by the delusional climate activists has been firmly and fully rejected by India and China.”

China is a mystery – who knows what they will do in the end? but in India every year the pipeline of new coal gets shorter and the installed wind and solar larger

Reply to  griff
May 14, 2022 5:50 am

“but in India every year the pipeline of new coal gets shorter and the installed wind and solar larger”

Which is why they are planning to double production by 2030… right griff 😉

You knew that, so you are deliberately lying.


And wind and solar have been growing very little compared to fossil fuels

comment image

Reply to  griff
May 14, 2022 5:45 pm

open mouth, insert foot
read the damn article before you start flapping your jibs

May 14, 2022 2:28 am

Maybe you could regard coal mining as Carbon Capture and Storage.

May 14, 2022 4:03 am

“As WUWT reported yesterday, India has also joined the coal production race, announcing plans to increase coal production by 400 million tons in the next two years”

and reduce imported coal by the same amount!

Reply to  griff
May 14, 2022 5:55 am

Fossil fuel growth in India way out-strips anything else.

comment image

Reply to  griff
May 14, 2022 6:09 am

Got it, they are going use more domestic supply and have less reliance on imported supply.
Still has India dependent on Coal not renewables.

Reply to  griff
May 14, 2022 6:18 am

So they get to net zero by using more coal … who knew.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  griff
May 14, 2022 12:16 pm

NOPE. Currently, India uses 1B tonnes/yr of which they currently mine 777M tonnes & import
223M tonnes– simple arithmetic. They’re increasing total usage & domestic production to 1.2B
tonnes/yr- +200M more/yr. 223M + 200M = +423M tonnes more domestic production. (The WUWT
article you cite rounds 423M to 400M- close enough- but the original phys.org article specifically
states the total domestic usage is rising by 200M to 1.2B)


Reply to  griff
May 14, 2022 11:27 pm

Indian coal is not of a very high grade. They import a substantial proportion of their coal from Australia which is of a very high grade. So if that is true as you claim they’d be reducing imported coal by a substantially lesser amount.

Stupid like that must hurt.

Jeff L
May 14, 2022 5:43 am

Words matter …. When you have enough people yelling that coal is going to kill the world, potential employees start choosing employment in other fields … and you end up with a shortage of employees.
It’s the same in Oil & Gas – people get tired of being told they are evil for being in the industry and they leave for jobs where they aren’t harassed.
And in all hydrocarbon employment, young talent never comes because they have been indoctrinated that there is no future in this sector, with healthy dose of “those industries are destroying the world”.
Think about that next time you are filling your car … high prices courtesy of the green blob.

Old Cocky
May 14, 2022 2:58 pm

Does this mean that laid off Twitter coders should learn to mine?

May 14, 2022 4:12 pm

You can write highfaluting papers till the cows come home, they don’t mean a damn thing. Build five new generating facilities, all on a level playing field. No subsidies, no tax breaks, no onerous regulations, no blocks of any sort. All permits and authorities to build are in hand. I say one solar, one wind, one coal, one natural gas and one nuclear. Everything the same if one facility must own the property then everyone must own the property. If one facility doesn’t have to own the property then none of them have to. All reasonable safety and environmental requirements must be met. You can build as big a facility as you want but everyone gets the same amount of money to begin their projects. The test ends when the last generating facility is closed down. The cost of building the facilities will not be considered because everyone was given the same limits for building. The winner is the one who consistently provided the power needed when it was needed over the life of the facility. No interference in fuel supply, no forcing buyers to buy when they don’t need it, everyone must store their own excess if needed (you can’t put that off on someone else), and bonus points if you can provide more energy when needed.

May 15, 2022 2:17 pm

“As global demand for coal skyrockets, a shortage of coal miners is the biggest impediment the growing coal renaissance” It’s shameful that the people have such a poor quality of leaders these days. Lies are difficult to keep straight, so when they do the wrong thing, they make sure they always have someone else to blame.  

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