AuthorTopic: Coal Collapse Calamity  (Read 2734 times)

Offline MKing

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Re: Coal Collapse Calamity
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2016, 04:57:09 AM »
While this is certainly Good Newz for the environment and reducing CO2 emmisions, it's pretty Bad Newz for a lot of folks all over the world from Wyoming to Oz to China who make a living mining coal.  Also, since so much of the global electric grid is currently powered by coal and getting new renewable plants online to replace them doesn' appear to be happening, one suspects lights will begin to dim in many places as these mines go outta biz.

A change has been afoot that apparently you have missed.

I haven't missed anything. The current glut of NG being sold at prices below the cost of production is doing nothing for the coal miners, the NG extractors aren't hiring them, in fact they are laying off their own workers to try to stay floating and keep the debt rolling over.


..and the electricity keeps being generated because the fuel is there, and cheap and abundant. You aren't required to LIKE the circumstances of how this has happened any better than the producers, but you are being choosey in your lament for a declining fossil fuel industry, while ignoring the one that has coming SCREAMING onto the scene, burying the competition.

I understand the desire NOT to want to discuss the recently discovered abundance...but those of us focused on reality know what is going on, and what it ultimately means. So do those previously referenced experts.

This is them, UNDERESTIMATING the power of natural gas abundance. Wouldn't it be nice if they would just get the numbers BIG enough sometime?

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Offline RE

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Coal Mining Crunch Takes Heavy Toll on Rural Wyoming
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2016, 01:30:37 PM »

Coal Mining Crunch Takes Heavy Toll on Rural Wyoming
April 3, 2016 By Lorenzo Tanos

The Wyoming coal mining industry is the bread and butter of thousands of dedicated local men and women. But what’s been an integral part of the community’s beating heart for so long has become a subject of fear, confusion and escalating tension.

Miners gathered at their local sports bar not to unwind after a long day at work, but rather to sit and worry whether they may be next to lose their jobs as Wright and other rural Wyoming towns deal with scores of mining layoffs.

“It’s just devastating for a community,” said Wright Economic Development Coordinator Brandi Harlow in an exclusive from the Casper Star-Tribune. “We’re such a small, tight-knit community. Everybody in Wright is touched by coal mine jobs.”

Indeed, it used to be good times in the Wyoming coal industry, as working in the mines fostered a familial environment among workers, while these employees took home substantial pay. These workers had seen the best of times and the worst of times, but even in those worst of times, they knew they still had jobs to fall back on. But with major mining firms Peabody Energy and Arch Coal having announced massive layoffs on Thursday, amounting to over 460 jobs or 15 percent of their workforce, concerns for the future of the industry have certainly amplified.

Harlow told the Star-Tribune that the small town of Wright in northeast Wyoming was, from the get-go, a coal mining town. Its numerous businesses and establishments, including its mom and pop shops, its bars, and even its schools, owe their success to the coal mining industry, and when that industry is faltering, so do those establishments. And the entire town is worse for it, now that the above mentioned companies have announced their layoffs.

“Everybody’s families are going to be impacted dramatically,” said mining facility janitor Jason Johnson in the same special report. “Pockets are going to be hurt. People are going to have to buck up, get any job they can take.”

But the question is – where do the laid-off miners go from here? And where does Wright go from here? According to Big D gas station assistant manager Sandy Willison, the current layoffs are the worst they’ve seen so far. And, at the rate things are going, Wright may become a “ghost town” eventually. “So if the mines are gone, the town’s gone,” she said.

It isn’t just Wright in Wyoming that’s suffering a coal mining crunch at the moment, as other coal towns are also in trouble.

“Maybe we were all complacent a little bit. Maybe this can wake us up,” said Gilette mayor Louise Carter-King, stressing the state’s resilience in a statement. “Wyoming has heard all along, diversify, diversify. But when you don’t have much of a labor force it’s hard to start a whole new ballgame.

“It is difficult and heartbreaking to hear about these layoffs … Gillette is a city that rallies around our neighbors. We’ll make it.” Carter-King’s husband, most notably, works at a coal mine in nearby Peabody, where the Caballo mine had just laid off about 20 employees.

Meanwhile, state officials are mulling ways to help laid off coal workers find work in the same field in other areas, or in a different field altogether, depending on their training and expertise, or willingness to be trained. According to Wyoming principal state economist Wenlin Liu, the main challenge would be finding work that would offer similar compensation to what they were earning in the coal mines.

“Given the fact that in coal mining the wage rate is around $80,000, any other service industry will be a big cut,” Liu commented in a report from the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. “They might have to go get some training and be willing to switch their occupations. But many of them do drive trucks around, so that may be (a chance to drive a) different type of truck or vehicle. That’s something relatively close.”
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Offline agelbert

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Re: Coal Collapse Calamity
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2016, 01:56:26 PM »
In one my "go back to college and learn new stuff" phases, I took two years of Biz Admin courses, including a lot of boring accounting. One of the things I learned (accounting was not taught as creative Wall Street exercise in college in the 1970s -unless you were in elite colleges. of course  :evil4:) was that there is an accounting rule of thumb for RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY PRICES.

RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY PRICES are a function NOT of the interest rate, NOT of the required monthly payment and NOT even of the present value of the monetary unit and inflation. There IS a MINIMUM price due to materials cost and labor cost and land property taxes. BUT THAT IS THE MINIMUM.

ANY premium above THAT is figured by multiplying, for an average dwelling like that of a middle class coal miner, the average annual salary by 2.5. So, if the average salary is $80,000 a year, the average house in good condition can be "valued" at $200,000.

Another rule of thumb that limits the above "value" (before Wall Street started lying through their teeth about GAAP in the late 1990s) is the monthly payment. No monthly payment should exceed 25% a month of the NET after taxes income.

What I am trying to say, is that, regardless of what you may hear or believe, a HOUSE is worth NO MORE than 2.5 times the average annual salary in any given area. Wyoming home prices, like those of most middle class homes all over the USA will go down in price. Of course the assessment assholes for the towns will do their damnedest to keep the "valuations" inflated. And the fed will do its damnedest to goose inflation for the poor and middle class while keeping it at zero or LESS for the rich. But eventually, because both those pricing mechanisms are parasitical, they will not work to buttress home "values".

The ONLY thing that will work to sustain and/or raise home "values" is HIGHER WAGES, PERIOD.

I don't see that happening any time soon.

Home pricess are in for a reality check. The Wall Street Bankster based BULLSHIT is over.

« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 02:00:27 PM by agelbert »
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Offline agelbert

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Re: Coal Collapse Calamity
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2016, 12:18:28 PM »

The Big Coal Bailout of 2016   

Carl Pope | March 31, 2016 9:20 am


Finally, in February 2015, the Administration moved, proposing a “Power Plus” plan to help protect miner’s pensions, health care and the economic based on coal dependent communities. (It also moved in the same month to reform royalty abuses).

But, of course, by this time such aid required Congressional appropriations. Bankruptcy courts had already let Patriot and other companies dump their pension and health care obligations. The same Republican leaders who blasted Obama for making war on coal denounced the new plan. Leading the charge? Kentucky Senator and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who made it clear that his hostility towards the United Mines Workers trumped whatever concern he might have had for Kentucky coal miners. In December, McConnell personally blocked efforts to include community and pension rescue efforts in the budget deal Republicans cut with Obama.

Here there is a partisan difference. Democrats who are waging “War on Coal” favor keeping the promise America made to coal miners. Hilary Clinton has strongly advocated help for the workers and communities.

How do conservatives justify this stand? By calling any effort to ensure that miners get the pensions they earned yes, “a bailout.” But conservative attacks on such efforts to protect pensions simply don’t mention the shenanigans by which companies like Peabody got rid of their debts. These are actually worse than bailouts. In a bailout the calculation is that a healthy enterprise emerges. But there is no prospect in these cases that Patriot, Arch or Shortly Peabody is going to bounce back.

These are give-aways What is hard to calculate is how big and costly they are.

The UMW Pension fund, for example, protects more than 100,000 coal miners and former miners. It has $3.8 billion in assets, but must pay out about $600 million a year—so if it goes bankrupt, (ignoring the likely collateral damage to the whole U.S. pension insurance system) over a decade $6 billion could be transferred from the coal industry to the public—12 Solydras!

How much are the reclamation costs being forgiven? Well, an earlier generation of mining reclamation costs are now estimated to cost $17 billion—34 Solyndras.

And the pending defaults on self-bonded mining costs seem likely to run another $2.7 billion. So the total give-aways to coal companies as they race towards bankruptcy seems to be over $25 billion—almost 50 Solyndras.

That’s quite a bailout—the GM bailout cost taxpayers only $11.2 billion, less than half as much and the taxpayers got a healthy GM out of the deal—we get nothing from coal give-aways.

So the next time some economist earnestly lectures you on the need to avoid subsidizing clean energy, or a Republican says government shouldn’t pick winners and losers, ask them to show you where—and how loudly—they denounced the Big Coal Bailout of 2016.
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.


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