Fossil fuel era is ending, but the lawsuits are just beginning

phys.org | 1/18/2019 | Staff
kringkring (Posted by) Level 4
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"Coal is dead."

These are not the words of a Greenpeace activist or left-wing politician, but of Jim Barry, the global head of the infrastructure investment group at Blackrock —the world's largest asset manager. Barry made this statement in 2017, but the writing has been on the wall for longer than that.

Banks - Coal - Mines - Power - Plants

Banks know it, which is why they are increasingly unwilling to underwrite new coal mines and power plants. Unions and coal workers know it, which is why they are demanding a just transition and new employment opportunities in the clean economy. Even large diversified mining companies are getting out of the business of coal.

The only ones who seem to have remained in denial are President Donald Trump and non-diversified mining companies like Westmoreland Coal. The Denver-based firm made a bad bet in 2013 when it purchased five coal mines in Alberta. Now it wants Canadian taxpayers to pay for its mistake.

Years - Alberta - New - Democratic - Party

Three years ago, Alberta's New Democratic Party (NDP) committed to what some have described as "the most ambitious climate plan in North America to date." In addition to the development of an economy-wide carbon price, the province is phasing out coal-fired power by 2030. Without the infrastructure to export coal, the climate plan has also resulted in a de facto phaseout of local thermal coal mining.

To ensure support for the plan, major utility companies in the province were provided with "transition payments" to facilitate the switch to gas and renewable energy. Westmoreland did not receive a government handout, because coal mining companies have no role to play in the energy transition. The company, which filed for bankruptcy protection for its investments in the United States in October, doesn't think this is fair.

Westmoreland - Company - Free - Trade - Agreement

Because Westmoreland is an American company, it can rely on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for protection...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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