coal

In our series on the Ports of Indiana, we’ve seen steel and manufacturing hubs on Lake Michigan and the Ohio River. Today, we go to Indiana’s truest river port – Mt. Vernon, outside Evansville. It’s the highest-traffic port in the system, helping move processed grain, coal, and more all around the world. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Annie Ropeik reports it’s also more susceptible than any other state port to the fallout from shifts in federal policy.

New DOE Study Explores Decline Of Coal, Nuclear

Aug 25, 2017

Natural gas, not renewable energy, is the primary driver behind coal and nuclear power plant retirements, according to a highly-anticipated Department of Energy study released this week.

The study concluded the already widely-held view that cheap natural gas and low demand drive the decline in coal and nuclear power. The report also implies that increased use of renewable energy could make the power grid unreliable in the future.

Indiana’s three ports had their second-best start to the year ever in 2017.

Burns Harbor, Mt. Vernon and Jeffersonville moved 19 percent more cargo in the first six months of this year than at the same time in 2016 – 5.7 million tons overall.

Almost two-thirds of that went through the southwest port of Mt. Vernon, in the form of bulk cargoes – things like coal, ethanol, fertilizer and minerals, which get transferred between railcars, river barges and trucks.

Aristrocrat-hat (Flickr)

Five coal plants in Indiana ranked in the top 100 for both toxic and greenhouse gas pollution, according to a new analysis from the Center for Public Integrity.

That’s more “super polluters” than any other state in the country.

Peabody Energy

Some Hoosiers and Appalachia residents are advocating for federal dollars to restore abandoned coal mines.

The RECLAIM Act would free up $34 million over five years for Indiana.

Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign representative Matt Skuya-Boss says it would cost nearly $200 million to restore all of Indiana’s abandoned mines.

Duke Energy / https://www.duke-energy.com/power-plants/coal-fired/edwardsport.asp

The Environmental Protection Agency has been tightening pollution standards for toxic emissions, and regulations are likely to increase in the future.

The new rules push utilities toward cleaner energy production, but they’re also costly.

Coal-fired power plants in Indiana are balancing federal demands with business pressures in a number of ways.

Some, like Indianapolis Power and Light’s plant in Indianapolis, are converting to run on natural gas.

Others are shutting down, like the plant owned by Duke Energy in Terre Haute.

Dave Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/daveemerson/

Indiana saw the third-largest decrease in coal use, nationally since 2007, a change the federal Energy Information Administration credits the reduction in coal use to the affordability of cleaner alternatives.

Indiana used 37 percent less coal for electricity generation between 2007 and 2015. Only Ohio and Pennsylvania saw a larger decrease.

Beyond Coal campaign representative for the Sierra Club Jodi Perras says she interprets the Energy Information Agency, or EIA, report to mean Indiana’s coal industry is on its way out.

CB&I

Duke Energy's coal-fired power plant in Terre Haute is officially shut down. The company's air quality permit at the Wabash River Generating Station expired Friday.

 

It's the only plant the national power company will close, as it works to comply with new federal pollution rules.

 

As part of a settlement with environmental groups, Duke set a 2016 deadline for cutting out coal at its power plants, or cleaning them up to meet stricter EPA standards.

 

bartb_pt/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/bartb_pt/7669702266/

 

The bankruptcy filing of the nation's biggest coal company will likely have repercussions in Indiana.

St. Louis-based Peabody Energy will keep operating mines like Bear Run in Sullivan County, for now.

But the bankruptcy could impact more than a thousand Peabody Energy employees across the state.

Clean Power Plan Stay Has Little Impact On Coal Companies...For Now

Feb 11, 2016
Alan Berning / https://www.flickr.com/photos/14617207@N00/2621375759

Coal industry representatives in Indiana, one of the nation’s top coal-producing states, say the Supreme Court’s stay of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan has little immediate effect on the state.

By many accounts, utility companies haven’t been scrambling to comply with the proposed regulations, which would require Indiana to create a plan to reduce its carbon emissions by more than one-third over 15 years.

The stay lets states off the hook until the Supreme Court has its say on the plan.

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