Saturday, April 17, 2010

Coal Reserves Reach Far Beyond Gas and Oil

The World Coal Institute estimates “there are over 847 billion tonnes of proven coal reserves worldwide,” enough “to last us over 130 years at current rates of production,” compared to 40 or 60 years worth of oil and gas. Known reserves tend to expand over time as companies find more and improve extraction technology. Our nation contains huge reserves of coal. _GJFreePress

If the US government invested half as much in developing clean extraction and use of coal as it dumps into the wind and solar rat-holes, the US would have no problem with energy supplies or energy balance of payments deficits to state sponsors of terrorism such as Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, or Russia. Coal is the ace in the hole that the energy-starvation reich of Obama and Pelosi have sworn never to play. China and India, on the other hand, are quite willing to use any coal they can get.
On the demand side, a ramp-up in Chinese steel production has turned the country from an exporter to a net importer of coal. Whereas China has built up significant stocks of base metals, inventories of iron ore and coking coal remain tight. Further, Investec Securities cites the impact of the consolidation of China’s steel industry, which will lead to the use of larger blast furnaces, and a need for high-quality hard coking coal, which cannot be sourced domestically. In addition, demand continues to grow in India, which at present consumes less that 7 per cent of the world’s coal against China’s 41 per cent. _TimesOnline
The US is burning coal more cleanly than ever, and with a little investment could do even better -- and still start to wean the country off terror-sponsor sourced oil. Investing in mine safety would also cut an already-low rate of coal mining fatalities.

Eventually, coal will be mined robotically, and by in situ gasification. But moving to those methods will also require investment. Instead, Obama - Pelosi is content to fizzle it away on jive castles in the air.

Advanced economies have to develop all of their energy sources to bridge the gap between the oil economy and the electric economy. If those economies are governed by zombies, they will experience prolonged recessions.



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