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Coal’s Friends Are Increasing

July 19, 2013

Patrick Morrisey may have come on the scene at just the right time to battle effectively against President Barack Obama’s war on coal and reasonable electricity prices....

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WVUGEO

Jul-19-13 7:31 AM

On June 3, 2008, the US EPA issued an official "Report to Congress", EPA530-R-08-007, entitled: "Study on Increasing the Usage of Recovered Mineral Components in Federally Funded Projects Involving Procurement of Cement or Concrete", which says, in part, that Coal Ash can serve well as a partial "replacement for portland cement in concrete applications" and can "be used as a raw material in the production of portland cement clinker". The EPA stated the benefits of such Coal Ash utilization to include: "environmental benefits from avoided virgin materials extraction (,) reduced energy use and associated GHG emissions, reduced water use and reduced air pollution". Further, the EPA said that "certain performance benefits can be attained through the use of fly ash in cement, including ... higher strength and increased longevity in the finished product". The EPA once saw Coal Ash as a valuable mineral resource. They need to be con

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WVUGEO

Jul-19-13 7:42 AM

In the EPA report we cited below, the EPA said further that, in their year "2000 Regulatory Determination for fossil fuel combustion wastes" the "EPA’s risk evaluation of the beneficial use of (Coal Ash) in cement and concrete concluded that national regulation under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is not warranted. Findings ... did not identify significant risks to human health and the environment associated with the beneficial uses of (Coal Ash, and found no) evidence of damage to human health and the environment from these beneficial uses. Our overall conclusions from these efforts, therefore, are that encapsulated applications, including cement and concrete uses, appear to present minimal risk".

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WVUGEO

Jul-19-13 8:12 AM

And, while we're on the subject of the EPA and their attitudes about Coal, we'll note that, in March of 2002, the EPA's "Transportation and Air Quality Transportation and Regional Programs Division" issued their report, Number EPA420-F-00-036, entitled "Clean Alternative Fuels: Fischer-Tropsch", wherein they proclaimed: "A Success Story (!) For the past 50 years, Fischer-Tropsch fuels have powered all of South Africa’s vehicles, from buses to trucks to taxicabs. Sasol’s South African facility produces more than 150,000 barrels of high quality fuel from domestic low-grade coal daily. The resultant fuel is colorless, odorless, and low in toxicity (and has) important emissions benefits compared with diesel, reducing nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter". How come that US EPA paper and position, about converting Coal into liquid hydrocarbon fuels, never reached the headlines in the Coal Country press?

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BigMike

Jul-19-13 5:29 PM

WVUGEO, EPA reports from 2002, 2008 etc?

That was such a long, long time ago.

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atoddh

Jul-19-13 9:52 PM

The least expensive power is nuclear generated; not coal.

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WVUGEO

Jul-20-13 8:12 AM

Coal has friends, alright. But, their sort of busy elsewhere in the world. As reported by the online industry newsletter, "Hydrocarbons Technology (dot) com; News, views and contacts from the global Hydrocarbons industry", in their article "Shenhua Coal to Liquids Plant, China", both West Virginia University and the United States Department of Energy, who are spending your tax dollars to be there, have helped the largest Coal mining company in the world, "Shenhua" , to build and start production at a factory that converts Coal into synthetic petroleum. The plant was, as the article plainly states, built with: "US-developed technology from Headwaters Inc and Hydrocarbon Technologies Inc (HTI) in conjunction with West Virginia University and the US Department of Energy".

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TrollSlayer

Jul-20-13 9:53 AM

Interesting. GEO, why don’t you calculate the total rate that radium and uranium are being extracted, processed, and deposited into the human environment as coal ash, and compare that with the total rate that those radioactive elements are being extracted, processed, and deposited into the human environment by fracking. Let us know which industry exposes more children to radiation. Unless you discover that the coal industry releases FAR more radiation than the gas industry, in which case you should just continue distracting and misinforming with comments that are “not germain.”

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wvhoopie

Jul-20-13 10:00 AM

LOL! Coal's friends are increasing as each coal fired plant turns to gas one at a time. Freedom from pollution is our goal and we will get it. The left is winning.

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TrollSlayer

Jul-20-13 10:14 AM

hoopie, ask your United Mine Workers Union pals if they’re winning. Or your United Steel Workers union pals if they’re winning. Or your United Auto Workers union pals if they’re winning. Maybe they're starting to figure out they've been backing the wrong party. LOL

How’s that Detroit bankruptcy working out? Winning? LOL

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WVUGEO

Jul-20-13 10:30 AM

Troll: In sedimentary deposits, as a general rule of thumb, due to the theorized environment of the earth at the times when the sediments were laid down, the deeper you go, that is the further back in time, the more radioactivity you encounter. Deeper rocks are more radioactive. The Shale wells are tapping layers, generally speaking, more than five times, nearly ten times, as deep as the current Coal mines in the area. Further, most of the radioactive elements that would be found in Coal get permanently bound into the silicate minerals of the ash. The much more abundant radioactive elements in Shale flowback are mobilized and water-soluble - not counting the radon that is a component of the nat gas itself.

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TrollSlayer

Jul-20-13 10:35 AM

Nice general statement. Now how about some numbers. How much radium and uranium comes to the surface each year in coal ash, and how much radium and uranium comes to the surface each year in fracking fluid? Our children deserve to know why you back an industry and a process that exposes them to dangerous, cancer-causing radiation. Because, as you once said, no level of radiation is safe. You can't have it both ways, GEO. Numbers, please.

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TrollSlayer

Jul-20-13 10:36 AM

Oh, and add in the radon, too. Since radon is ALSO present in the coal you're always boosting.

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WVUGEO

Jul-20-13 11:14 AM

Troll, the US Geologic Survey, in their 1997 Fact Sheet, FS-163-97, "Radioactive Elements in Coal and Fly Ash: Abundance, Forms, and Environmental Significance", confirm, that, any solid radioactive elements which might be in Coal get bound into the Ash; and, loss through solution from the Ash is impossible in less than geologic time spans. Coal Ash is comparable to common "soil" in the amount of such elements it releases through solution activity. The radon content of Coal is minimal, and, any that is there is dissipated via the stack gas. Coal, as we read the stats provided, contributes less than 5 percent of the radon stirred up by human industrial activities, and, according to the USGS, Coal, in all aspects of radiation hazard, is "comparable to common rocks and soils".

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TrollSlayer

Jul-20-13 11:15 AM

WVUGEO “as a general rule of thumb, due to the theorized environment of the earth at the times when the sediments were laid down, the deeper you go, that is the further back in time, the more radioactivity you encounter.”

Irrelevant. And “general rules of thumb” do not impress me as facts. In the coal layer they’re bringing ALL OF IT up. In the shale gas layers they’re only bringing up a tiny fraction of one component up, and compared to the mass of coal being mined a relatively miniscule amount of drill cuttings. You don't seem to understand how proportions work.

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TrollSlayer

Jul-20-13 11:15 AM

WVUGEO “Further, most of the radioactive elements that would be found in Coal get permanently bound into the silicate minerals of the ash.”

And most of the radioactive elements found in fracking flowback are either recycled and reused a MILE underground or disposed of even DEEPER in injection wells. Which a recent federal study demonstrated do NOT contaminate the water at the surface. You don’t seem to be consistent on your enthusiasm for sequestration.

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TrollSlayer

Jul-20-13 11:18 AM

WVUGEO “The radon content of Coal is minimal, and, any that is there is dissipated via the stack gas.”

Any radon that is in gas is dissipated via stack gas, too. And yet you argue against radon in gas but see no problem with that same element in coal. LOL

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TrollSlayer

Jul-20-13 11:22 AM

WVUGEO "Coal, in all aspects of radiation hazard, is "comparable to common rocks and soils"

And the hazard from those picocuries of radium, when injected back a MILE underground, are comparable to the hazard those very same picocuries presented when they were a MILE underground in the first place.

But you see no problem with sequestering those radioactive materials in the concrete school buses full of children will travel FIVE FEET above every day. Your lack of consistency is showing.

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WVUGEO

Jul-20-13 11:25 AM

Troll! Slow down, for Pity's sake! We can almost see you spraying spittle.

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TrollSlayer

Jul-20-13 11:39 AM

That's fracking fluid. I had some on my Cheerios this morning. You'd better don your radiation suit. LOL

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WVUGEO

Jul-20-13 11:45 AM

Mmm-Mmm, Good! Good to hear you're getting your essential elements - at least you'll be easy to spot when the lights go out. The greenish glow is very becoming.

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TrollSlayer

Jul-20-13 11:50 AM

So the radioactive material samples glow in your lab, GEO? Do you even know what radiation is? LOL

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JamesT

Jul-21-13 9:46 AM

Connect the dots! Follow the smoke & find the fire ! The Democratic Party has been and remains hostile towards American coal. Coal Unions give tens of millions to Democratic politicians. Keeping the Democrats in power in west Virginia and the U.S. Senate along with a " War On Coal " by Obama & Biden. You get the government & the standard of living YOU deserve !

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