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https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/10/21/2059426/-Joe-Man...

In fighting to cut the reconciliation bill, Joe Manchin is signing West Virginia's death certificate


As of September 2021, there are 42,300 people employed by the coal mining industry. Miners, engineers, geologists, trainers, mechanics, clerks, managers, technicians, and executives. That’s everybody. That number is down about 20% since Donald Trump took office, though—thanks to what’s been called a “boom” in the last few months, it’s down only about 100 people under President Joe Biden. That’s what counts for a boom in the coal industry these days—losing more slowly.


Of course Manchin is still hevily invested in coal stocks.

CNC
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In fighting to cut the reconciliation bill, Joe Manchin is signing West Virginia's death certificate

https://boards.fool.com/and-i-am-by-no-means-an-expert-on-wv...
WV is one of the least insolated states in the country. It's also among the worst for harvestable wind resources. Just eyeballing the two maps, it appears to be literally the worst state in the union in terms of the combined solar and wind resources, because most of the northern states that have poor solar resources have good wind resources.

The shift away from coal is going to be an unmitigated disaster for WV. It will be even worse if there isn't an extended bridge period with natural gas. Not just for the extraction jobs - WV doesn't have a lot going for it in terms of competitive advantages, but one thing it does have is rock-bottom energy prices. In a 'green' economy, WV is going to have some of the highest energy prices in the country.

It may indeed be the best strategy for WV for them to do everything they can to drag out that transition. The transition will be bad for them, and it will be worse if it is quick, drastic, and happens soon. It is a fallacy to assume that just because the indefinite future will involve shifting away from coal that WV would be better off working towards that future rather than trying to stretch out that transition as much as possible....

It takes leadership to stand up to that and point out, correctly, that the major provisions of the various climate packages will do affirmative harm to the interests of ordinary constituents in WV, and so therefore he won't vote for those packages.

DB2
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The shift away from coal is going to be an unmitigated disaster for WV.

Did you read even the bit I extracted from the article? I suspect you just react to anything which contradicts your prejudices. 43,000 employed by the coal industry total. 18,000 in WV. 1% of the population. How will losing that be an unmitigated disaster? Maybe to the owners of the coal mines, and Joe Manchin, but otherwise not so much.

Regards,

CNC
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Did you read even the bit I extracted from the article?...How will losing that be an unmitigated disaster?

Sure. Did you read what Albaby wrote? The state as a whole will be affected, not just the 1% of the population.

DB2
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Did you read even the bit I extracted from the article? I suspect you just react to anything which contradicts your prejudices. 43,000 employed by the coal industry total. 18,000 in WV. 1% of the population. How will losing that be an unmitigated disaster? Maybe to the owners of the coal mines, and Joe Manchin, but otherwise not so much.

Yeah, it's not about the mining jobs so much as the fact that the entire electric power generation network (about 91%) relies on coal, and that WV relies on having cheap electric power both as a major direct source of revenue (more than half its electricity is exported) and as a major inducement for industries to locate there. That's because it has the cheapest electricity east of the Mississippi.

The CEPP as proposed would have all-but-destroyed the WV power sector. WV would immediately go from having the cheapest electricity in the region to among the most expensive. Virtually every power plant in the state would be noncompliant - and with the immediate loss of electricity export revenue, all of the utilities that run those plants would be quickly insolvent. You can't demolish the entire power sector of a state without imposing enormous costs on the economy and the well-being of ordinary citizens.

Manchin is not unaware that coal production is declining. He knows that the market will continue to shift to natural gas even in the absence of regulation. He's been the governor and senator for that state for decades - he's not an idiot. Rather, he knows that the CEPP as drafted was exceptionally cruel to WV by not allowing WV to reduce its carbon by switching from coal to NG. And unnecessarily so, in his opinion - again, WV can reduce its emissions more by making the coal-NG switch than most states can reduce their emissions by going to renewables. But once Greens took that off the table, the CEPP was a nonstarter. Manchin - correctly - adjudged that the CEPP would have a devastating impact on his state.

The employment numbers you cite are no more informative, and no more clever, than if we were to point out that the actual number of investment bankers living in New York City was far less than 1% of the population - therefore NYC wouldn't have a legitimate concern if we were to propose outlawing investment banking there. Manchin's not an idiot, and he knows that the state will need to continue shift away from coal production as a leading industry. He also knows that can't happen if the electric power generation sector, and all the industrial jobs that rely on it, gets demolished.

Albaby

Coal-fired power plants account for almost all of West Virginia's electricity generation, and 8 of the 10 largest power plants in the state by capacity and by generation are coal-fired.31 In 2019, coal fueled the smallest share of state generation in more than 20 years, and it still exceeded nine-tenths. Almost all the rest of the in-state electricity generation was from natural gas, hydropower, and wind. In 2019, natural gas fueled a record amount of electricity in West Virginia at about 3% of the state's net generation. Hydropower and wind each supplied almost 3% of the state's net generation in 2019.32 West Virginia does not produce electricity from nuclear power and is one of nine states east of the Mississippi River without an operating nuclear power plant.

West Virginia has the lowest average price for electricity among states east of the Mississippi River, and its electricity retail sales are less than in about two-thirds of the states. However, West Virginia is among the nation's top five states in electricity use per capita. The state's industrial sector is the largest end-user and accounts for more than two-fifths of West Virginia's electricity consumption. Almost half of the households in West Virginia use electricity as their primary source for home heating, and the residential sector accounts for one-third of electricity retail sales. The commercial sector consumes the rest. Overall, West Virginians use less than half of the electricity generated in the state. As a result, West Virginia is a net supplier of electricity to the regional grid and is among the top 10 states in interstate transfers of electricity. In 2019, only five other states sent more electricity out of state.


https://www.eia.gov/state/analysis.php?sid=WV
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You can't demolish the entire power sector of a state without imposing enormous costs on the economy and the well-being of ordinary citizens.

Yeah, any reasonable plan, formulated acknowledging that Manchin is a crucial vote to pass any legislation, would offer both carrot and stick to move WV and similar states quickly away from coal, accepting that advanced high-efficiency natural gas is an acceptable transition pathway, while also highly encouraging other even cleaner power plants.

West Virginia, with its poor solar and wind potential, and right-leaning electorate, is an obvious candidate for nuclear power as an end-goal for most of its electrical production.
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Ben writes:
West Virginia, with its poor solar and wind potential, and right-leaning electorate, is an obvious candidate for nuclear power as an end-goal for most of its electrical production.
-------------------------------

Manchin has said some positive things about nuclear.

From earlier this year:
https://www.energy.senate.gov/2021/3/manchin-nuclear-gets-th...

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to examine the latest developments in the nuclear energy sector. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Committee, highlighted the importance of maintaining the United States’ position as a global leader in nuclear energy.

"Nuclear power provides about 10 percent of the world's electricity and prevents approximately two gigatons of carbon from reaching our atmosphere every year. But about 789 million people around the world still live without electricity. Nuclear energy can be part of delivering that electricity to lift people out of poverty and provide the opportunities that many have become accustomed to. The Tennessee Valley Authority was created to do that very thing during the Great Depression. This is a model that can inform our efforts both domestically and abroad. Russia and China have made a strategic effort to supplant our nuclear leadership over recent years. We must push back. With the necessary policy and funding we can maintain our nuclear supply chain, create high-paying manufacturing jobs, and reassert that U.S. leadership," Chairman Manchin said.

--------------------

More comments from Manchin at the link.

But, as I always say, words are cheap.

- Pete
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The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that West Virginia has significant wind power development opportunities, with a potential of 69 gigawatts. As of the start of 2020, there were 376 wind turbines in operation in West Virginia with a generating capacity of 686 megawatts (MW) and responsible for 2.7% of in-state electricity production. An additional 56 MW was under construction [2020].

The state, a major coal producer, passed renewable portfolio standard legislation in 2009, but repealed it in 2015.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_West_Virginia#:~....

Jaak
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More comments from Manchin at the link.

But, as I always say, words are cheap.

- Pete

============================================

Some downsides of nuclear energy are readily apparent and have been for years, partly explaining its slow growth as an alternative source of electricity. Building a new nuclear power plant takes an average of ten years, and the energy it will produce costs between $112 and $189 per megawatt hour (MWh), in contrast to $29 to $56 per MWh for wind and $36 to $44 per MWh for solar. The first new nuclear plant in the United Kingdom “in a generation” continues to hit cost overruns and is currently hovering at around £22 billion.

https://bostonreview.net/science-nature/samuel-miller-mcdona...

Jaak
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Did you read even the bit I extracted from the article? I suspect you just react to anything which contradicts your prejudices. 43,000 employed by the coal industry total. 18,000 in WV. 1% of the population. How will losing that be an unmitigated disaster? Maybe to the owners of the coal mines, and Joe Manchin, but otherwise not so much.

Yeah, it's not about the mining jobs so much as the fact that the entire electric power generation network (about 91%) relies on coal, and that WV relies on having cheap electric power both as a major direct source of revenue (more than half its electricity is exported) and as a major inducement for industries to locate there. That's because it has the cheapest electricity east of the Mississippi.

========================================

The coal companies and utilities run the state - not the people. They want the status quo to stay even if it is polluting the environment, the air, the water and causing health problems for the people.

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West Virginia has the fourth-largest natural gas reserves of any state, because it overlies part of one of the largest U.S. natural gas-producing areas in the nation. Production from the Marcellus and Utica-Point Pleasant shale formations has contributed to the state becoming the nation's sixth-largest producer of marketed natural gas in 2019. West Virginia's annual natural gas production exceeded 1 trillion cubic feet for the first time, and in 2019, it exceeded 2 trillion cubic feet.

https://www.eia.gov/state/analysis.php?sid=WV

---------------------------

According to a recent Lancet commission on pollution and health, pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today, responsible for an estimated 16% of all deaths worldwide and associated with a much wider range of disease than was previously thought. Air pollution in particular is at highest concentration in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) but can disperse globally and has a disproportionally greater effect on the vulnerable, children and older adults.

The risk of dementia, and the cognitive decline that precedes it, rise with increasing age. The globally ageing population means that the absolute numbers of those living with dementia continue to increase with an estimated new case every three seconds. The rise in dementia cases is global but due to differing patterns in risk factor exposure and healthcare access, the rise is greater in LMIC.

Exposure to air pollution, especially fine particulate matter, is thought to increase risk of hypertension, raised lipids, atherosclerosis, oxidative stress, insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, enhanced propensity toward coagulation, inflammation, and stroke, all of which also raise risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

Overall, the evidence from longitudinal cohort studies pointed towards an association between greater exposure to pollutants, in particular PM2.5, NO2/NOx and increased risk of dementia.

Conclusion

Air pollution, in common with the majority of established risk factors for dementia, does not influence cognition alone. Rather, it increases the risk of multiple non-communicable diseases, one of which is dementia. However, unlike the majority of the established dementia risk factors, the opportunity for personal control over exposure to risk from air pollution is low. Air pollution is pervasive, global, life-long, and bad for health. Further regulation and reduction of exposure has huge potential for health benefit and cost saving including potentially reducing dementia risk. At present, the evidence suggests that greater exposure to air pollution may increase risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and further research is needed to support robust recommendations.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6700631/

Jaak
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The first new nuclear plant in the United Kingdom “in a generation” continues to hit cost overruns and is currently hovering at around £22 billion.

-----------------

You see this a lot, nuclear construction cost overruns. Is this because the engineers and project managers build these thing are collectively less competent than those who build massive manufacturing plants or high rise buildings?

I know many but not all such large construction projects have cost overruns but does the nuclear construction industry stand out with respect to frequency and magnitude?

I think they do, but not because of competency. But rather, these project face massive and constant delays and legal costs being fought every inch by the activists who agitate to stop nuclear for any and every reason they can think up.
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BHM asks:

I know many but not all such large construction projects have cost overruns but does the nuclear construction industry stand out with respect to frequency and magnitude?

I think they do, but not because of competency. But rather, these project face massive and constant delays and legal costs being fought every inch by the activists who agitate to stop nuclear for any and every reason they can think up.

==========================================================

Yes the nuclear construction industry does stand out for always having schedule delays and cost overruns for the following reasons:

Nuclear power plants are one of the most complex engineering and construction efforts undertaken by any group of companies or government organizations. The Laws and Regulations governing nuclear power are strict. Engineering, safety analysis, and licensing documents must be doubly checked and approved by regulators, manufacturing of equipment and materials must be tested and certified for use in a nuclear power plant, construction must be performed exactly as required by approved engineering documents, construction must be inspected and accepted by quality control inspectors, all changes made during construction must be approved and incorporated into the final as-built documents.

Some large long lead items may take years to schedule and manufacture. Reactor vessels, reactor coolant pumps, steam generators and other components may need to come from other countries because of lack of manufacturing facilities. Some companies have lost their nuclear power experience and licenses. Some construction companies do not have enough nuclear qualified welders, pipe fitters, boilermakers, electricians, ironworkers, plumbers and other construction trades.

Many mistakes are made during construction which need to be reworked of reanalyzed to be acceptable.

Nuclear power plants are usually located over 40 miles from any town which can house several thousands workers.

Site security and security clearances are required.

These projects may face massive delays and legal costs being fought during the licensing phase. Once the project is given construction approval by regulators there is very little that activists can do to stop nuclear construction. Activists have not been the reason for massive construction delays and cost overruns during construction.

Activists have not been the reason for the construction delays and cost overruns on the United Kingdom projects or in USA on the Vogtle 3&4 and Summer 2&3 projects.

Jaak
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These projects may face massive delays and legal costs being fought during the licensing phase. Once the project is given construction approval by regulators there is very little that activists can do to stop nuclear construction. Activists have not been the reason for massive construction delays and cost overruns during construction.

Activists have not been the reason for the construction delays and cost overruns on the United Kingdom projects or in USA on the Vogtle 3&4 and Summer 2&3 projects.

Jaak


---------------

Thanks Jaak. That was very enlightening.
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Exposure to air pollution, especially fine particulate matter, is thought to increase risk of hypertension, raised lipids, atherosclerosis, oxidative stress, insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, enhanced propensity toward coagulation, inflammation, and stroke, all of which also raise risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

These myriad, serious health effects of pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, especially coal, are the source of a large economic co-benefit of enacting regulations or legislation to reduce our production of heat trapping gases and slow global warming.

If West Virginia were incentivized and prodded to rapidly move most of their electrical power production to advanced natural gas, which is the quickest and cheapest way to drastically cut both heat-trapping and smog-forming and toxic pollution, the population of West Virginia, and Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware would all see significant health and quality-of-life benefits, which are difficult to quantify economically but have significant economic value.
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"If West Virginia were incentivized and prodded to rapidly move most of their electrical power production to advanced natural gas, which is the quickest and cheapest way to drastically cut both heat-trapping and smog-forming and toxic pollution, the population of West Virginia, and Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware would all see significant health and quality-of-life benefits, which are difficult to quantify economically but have significant economic value."

If WV converted all it's power plants to NG (whats with this 'advanced'...NG is NG)......

then I lot of folks in VA, PA, MD, and DE might freeze this winter. WV exports a lot of NG to other states. If it used it all itself...well.....

Hasn't PA banned fracking in most places? No gas for you.

"West Virginia is in the leading natural gas-producing area in the nation, and the state's natural gas production has increased with the development of the Marcellus Shale. West Virginia is the eighth-largest natural gas-producing state in the nation, largely because of shale gas production. Natural gas production from shale wells surpassed the production from all other natural gas wells in the state for the first time in 2011. Shale wells now account for more than three-fourths of the state's production. By 2014, West Virginia's shale gas reserves exceeded 28 trillion cubic feet.

https://www.energywv.org/wv-energy-profile/natural-gas-marce...

WV uses that NG for low cost manufacturing, for home heating (40% of homes use NG for heat), etc. Exports a bunch to neighboring states.

I continually worry where all this NG is going to come from in 10-20 years when the wells dry up.

t
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whats with this 'advanced'...NG is NG

I'm surprised you have to ask. Advanced natural gas power plants are combined cycle plants that generate power by both a primary cycle of combustion spinning a turbine, followed up by the 'waste' heat being used to create steam to spin another turbine.

https://www.ge.com/gas-power/resources/education/combined-cy...
"
A combined-cycle power plant uses both a gas and a steam turbine together to produce up to 50% more electricity from the same fuel than a traditional simple-cycle plant. The waste heat from the gas turbine is routed to the nearby steam turbine, which generates extra power.
"

While a single cycle gas plant might get 30-35% electrical efficiency from the gas it burns, a combined cycle plant is more like 50-55%. Big difference.


If WV converted all it's [sic] power plants to NG then I [sic] lot of folks in VA, PA, MD, and DE might freeze this winter.

If/when WV converts its power production from coal to advanced natural gas, that is a process that will take many years to complete. I'm not aware that the supply of natural gas in the Northeast/Midwest/Atlantic is so constrained that converting WV's coal plants would cause a crisis. Obviously, significantly expanding the number of natural gas plants as proposed would have to be accompanied by expansion of natural gas supply, and that would have to happen in tandem with the conversion of the plants.
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Yes the nuclear construction industry does stand out for always having schedule delays and cost overruns for the following reasons:

I worked at Stone & Webster Engineering back in the early 1970's. In particular on the Long Island Lighting Company's Shoreham nuclear generating site Site. Besides dealing with the intervenors, we had to deal with sabotage from the labor unions as the plant was nearing completion - stretch the work out as long as possible. One of my friends told of going to the site where a new water line was to be run over some buried electrical lines. He showed the trenching machine operator where the wires were buried and asked him to stop before he got there and to get help to manually excavate around the wires. When he came back in the afternoon the wires had all been destroyed by the trenching machine. When he asked the trenching machine operator why he did that, the response was, "I get paid from the neck down." Nothing to do. He can't be fired. There were also stories of pipes being cut - pure vandalism, just to stretch the job out.

The people working on nuclear submarines also had interesting stories to tell. Apparently there were no detailed drawings of where to route the steam and water lines on the subs - work it out on site. Sometimes one group would cut another group's pipes to make room for theirs.

It's the American way.

CNC
... The Shoreham plant was completed and de-commissioned a month later without generating a single kilowatt hour of electricity. The intervenors "won". How can you have an evacuation plan for the entire Long Island?
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October 23,2021

Georgia Power has again pushed back the in-service dates for two new reactors at the Vogtle nuclear power plant, with Units 3 and 4 now projected to come online in the third quarter of 2022 and the second quarter of 2023, respectively.

Georgia Power in an Oct. 21 news release said its needs more time to deal with continued issues with construction, and to conduct more comprehensive testing to ensure quality and safety standards are met at the two-unit expansion project in Waynesboro, Georgia. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in late August said it would consider increasing oversight of the oft-delayed project.

It’s the fourth time in just the past six months that Georgia Power has announced a further delay in startup of the two units.

https://www.powermag.com/vogtle-start-dates-pushed-back-agai...

More details for the delays in the article.

Jaak
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If/when WV converts its power production from coal to advanced natural gas, that is a process that will take many years to complete. I'm not aware that the supply of natural gas in the Northeast/Midwest/Atlantic is so constrained that converting WV's coal plants would cause a crisis. Obviously, significantly expanding the number of natural gas plants as proposed would have to be accompanied by expansion of natural gas supply, and that would have to happen in tandem with the conversion of the plants.

West Virginia has an enormous amount of natural gas reserves - fourth-largest in the country. It's already one of the nation's top producers of natural gas, and one of the largest net exporters to other states - and its natural gas production has been growing significantly over the last decade or so. Which is one reason why Manchin was pushing to have conversions to natural gas be counted as reducing emissions in the CEPP program. If WV could get credit for those conversions - or have access to funding resources to help speed them up - they could markedly reduce their carbon emissions and avoid a catastrophic shock to the financial stability of their utilities and power generation sector.

https://www.eia.gov/state/analysis.php?sid=W

A program that provided material and meaningful incentives for WV to convert electricity generation would inevitably also end up stimulating development of the natural gas fields, as WV's domestic demand increased. Right now, about 20% of domestic electricity production comes from coal, while about 40% comes from natural gas - so you'd need NG production to increase by at least 50% in order to replace coal altogether (on a national basis). That's not a trivial undertaking, but it's already been happening at a phenomenal rate. Since NG production has almost doubled over the last 15 years due to the fracking/shale revolution, it's probably feasible to expect that NG output could increase by enough over a decade or two to accommodate removing coal form electricity production altogether.

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/electricity-...

Albaby
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While a single cycle gas plant might get 30-35% electrical efficiency from the gas it burns, a combined cycle plant is more like 50-55%.
----------------------------

This can be seen in the trend of gas-fired power plant heat rates over the years. Heat rate is a sort of inverse of efficiency. Heat rate is the number of BTUs required to produce a kilowatt-hour of electricity. The lower the number, the better the efficiency.

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_08_01.html

In 2009, the average nat gas power plant had a heat rate of 8160 BTU/kwh. This corresponds to a thermal efficiency of 41.8%.

In 2019, the average heat rate improved to 7732 BTU/kwh, or 44.1% efficiency.

With a CO2 emission factor of 52.91 kg per million BTU for nat gas, this gives the average gas plant a CO2 intensity of 409 grams of CO2 per kwh. Nuclear power is zero grams for plant operation, which is why France has an overall CO2 intensity of 56 gramsCO2/kwh. Good luck getting to 56 grams with natural gas replacing coal.

https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/indicators/overview-...

- Pete
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While a single cycle gas plant might get 30-35% electrical efficiency from the gas it burns, a combined cycle plant is more like 50-55%. Big difference.

=======================================================

General Electric, Mitsubishi, and Siemens all offer combined cycle power plants with efficiency >64%

https://www.ge.com/gas-power/products/gas-turbines/9ha
https://power.mhi.com/products/gtcc/
https://www.siemens-energy.com/global/en/offerings/power-gen...

Jaak
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Right now, about 20% of domestic electricity production comes from coal, while about 40% comes from natural gas - so you'd need NG production to increase by at least 50% in order to replace coal altogether (on a national basis).

===========================================

That is a bogus proposition. WV can shutdown all coal with 50% renewables and 50% natural gas. USA can shutdown all coal with renewables, natural gas and nuclear power. No problems with shutting down coal by 2030.

Jaak
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That is a bogus proposition. WV can shutdown all coal with 50% renewables and 50% natural gas. USA can shutdown all coal with renewables, natural gas and nuclear power. No problems with shutting down coal by 2030.

I think you misunderstood my point. I was addressing the amount of NG that would be necessary if you needed to replace 100% of coal usage with NG - the most conservative assumption for telegraph's concerns. I was making the same point you are: even under that scenario, where even 100% of coal has to be replaced by NG, we have enough to accommodate it. Obviously if we increase renewables, we need even less NG, and are in even better shape.

WV probably won't ever have 50% of its domestic power generation running off renewables, and certainly not 50% within a decade. Mostly because it's a lousy place to put renewables, relative to other spots - which means that while we're going through the phase of transitioning to renewables we are going to be (and should be) prioritizing other locations. Because you get less output for your renewable investment in places like WV than elsewhere, any rational transition program is going to create incentives to put the renewables in other places first. Whatever solar panels we install should be mostly installed in the heavily insolated south and west. Whatever windmills we install should mostly be installed in the western 'wind belt' and northeastern coastal/offshore locations. Places like WV - that have neither good solar nor good wind resources - should instead be allocated a larger portion of whatever our carbon budget is.

And at the end of the day, even in a fully green power grid WV may not need renewables equal to 50% of its current generation. It will may make more sense for WV to ultimately end up becoming a net importer of electricity rather than have very large domestic renewable generation facilities. Again, unlike NG or coal, renewable energy sources are place-dependent - solar panels and windmills work better and generate more power in some places than in others. Even with line losses, it may ultimately make more sense to import wind from the coast and solar from the southeast than it does to produce power in WV directly.
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WV probably won't ever have 50% of its domestic power generation running off renewables, and certainly not 50% within a decade. Mostly because it's a lousy place to put renewables ...

======================================

WV is a great place for wind energy. The mountains tops are wind magnets.

The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that WV has significant wind power development opportunities, with a potential of 69 gigawatts. As of the start of 2020, there were 376 wind turbines in operation in WV with a generating capacity of 686 megawatts (MW) and responsible for 2.7% of in-state electricity production. An additional 56 MW was under construction [2020].

Currently WV has total electricity generation capacity of 15 gigawatts and generates 64,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity in a year.

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/westvirginia/index.php...

WV use less than half of the electricity generated in the state. As a result, WV is a net supplier of electricity to the regional grid and is among the top 10 states in interstate transfers of electricity.

https://www.eia.gov/state/analysis.php?sid=WV

Therefore, WV could install 5 gigawatts of new wind turbines and 5 gigawatts of combined cycle natural gas power plants and be totally self sufficient while also shutting down coal fired power plants and still export excess electricity to the regional grid. This can be done by 2030.

Adding 5 gigawatts of wind energy and 5 gigawatts of combined cycle gas turbines in WV is doable if the coal companies would not block it.

Jaak
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Jaak:"Currently WV has total electricity generation capacity of 15 gigawatts and generates 64,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity in a year. "

At 100% capacity it would generate 131,250 gigawatt-hours a year.

SO it is running at less than half capacity - and you never know when it is zero..... or 100%....or anywhere in between.

It is intermittent.

With all those gigawatt hours it does generate, that's 2.7% of the state's needs. You'd have to go up 500% or more in installations....assuming you have suitable locations not in someone's back yard.


You'd need near 100% NG backup. (or coal). Since it has no nukes.....that doesn't help either.

Come summer and the wind generation falls by over 50%.....1/3rd the amount in the winter time. Hmmm......

see table of month by month wind generation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_West_Virginia




So now you need to generate 75% of your electricity by NG in the winter time - along with peak home heating, longest amount of need for electricity (hours of darkness) etc. . And since winter is the worst time for solar, it too is going to be at 'minimum' in the winter time, too! Low sun angle. Lots of clouds. Snow and ice on solar panels. Fewest hours of sun.

Most of the homes in WV are in 'hollers'....down in deep valleys - shaded by hillsides/mountains. Not good for solar.


t.
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WV is a great place for wind energy. The mountains tops are wind magnets.

"The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that WV has significant wind power development opportunities, with a potential of 69 gigawatts."


The mountain and ridge tops are good for wind, but they are also scenic, and can be problematic for bird migration, and so there is often high opposition to large scale wind development in mountainous areas.
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With 15 gigawatts of installed power, WV generates 2.7% of its annual electricity need from wind.

The gov't says WV has 69 Gigatwatts of wind potential.

If we ramp up power by a factor of five, WV will generate less than 14% of its power needs by wind according to the gov't. Probably less since the 'best' wind sites go first and the later ones are more marginal.

Who in their right mind is saying WV can to 50% renewables?

Check the charts for wind power by month. In the summer, it is 1/3rd of what it generates in the winter.

t.
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WV is a great place for wind energy.

I'm not sure that's right, especially compared to the rest of the country.

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/wind/where-wind-power-is...

That doesn't mean it's utterly bereft of sites where wind power might be generated - it just means that other things being equal, the broader shift to wind power is going to be generated first are the states where the overwhelming majority of the lands in the state are rich in wind resources. As with everything else, the marginal quality of sites for locating wind facilities declines as you start using up the best sites first.

Therefore, WV could install 5 gigawatts of new wind turbines and 5 gigawatts of combined cycle natural gas power plants and be totally self sufficient while also shutting down coal fired power plants and still export excess electricity to the regional grid.

Capacity is not the same as production, as has been discussed over and over again. WV's current wind power plants comprise about 5% of total capacity, but only 2.7% of total production. To get to a 50-50 split between wind and NG, you'd have to get 10 gigawatts of new wind turbine capacity on board - or roughly 10x the total current installed wind capacity in the state. That's not happening in nine years. Total annual new wind capacity is running about 8-12 gigawatts per year for the whole country - and half of that just goes into a few states.

Which is the point. While it's theoretically possible using federal intervention to try to push installs into WV away from wind-rich states like Texas and Iowa, it would be remarkably poor policy to do that. We're going to make the conversion from fossils to wind fastest in the wind-rich states out west first, and the wind-poorer states (like WV) will follow on later - because that's what makes sense given the distribution of resources.

Albaby
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WV is a great place for wind energy.

I'm not sure that's right, especially compared to the rest of the country.
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As of 2019, West Virginia had 686 MW of installed wind capacity. In 2020, that capacity generated 1899 GWh of electricity. Ignoring the fact that they added 56 MW during 2020, the 2020 capacity factor was 31.5%. This is slightly worse than the US average for wind of 35.4%.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_West_Virginia

Capacity factors US avg:
https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.ph...

====================

It can be noted that more progressive Virginia doesn't have any installed wind power, at least not of utility scale.

https://windexchange.energy.gov/maps-data/321

The entire US southeast is problematic for wind power.

- Pete
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The entire US southeast is problematic for wind power.

Yes. At least the far southeast at least has some decent solar resources. The real 'gap' for renewables lies in the mid-Atlantic states, the ones that are too far north to have heavy insolation but which lack significant wind resources. Most everywhere else in the country has either fantastic wind resources (the wind belt in the Plains states and upper midwest), off-shore wind in the Northeast) or great insolation (most of the south, especially the Southwest). Only in the mid-Atlantic are you low on both resources.

Albaby
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The mountain and ridge tops are good for wind, but they are also scenic, and can be problematic for bird migration, and so there is often high opposition to large scale wind development in mountainous areas.

==============================

The coal companies have been blowing up the mountain tops in WV to get at the coal. IMO the people of WV would rather have mountain with some wind turbines instead to no mountains with coal.

Jaak
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It can be noted that more progressive Virginia doesn't have any installed wind power, at least not of utility scale.

=========================================

Virginia has less mountains to capture the wind. Maybe Virginia will invest in offshore wind.

Jaak
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Jaak: "Virginia has less mountains to capture the wind."

Mountains in VA are even taller than in WV.

Spruce Knob - highest point in WV - 4863 ft high

Mt Rogers - 5729 FT - highest point in VA.

Perhaps you've never been to the Blue Ridge, the Appalachians, or southwest VA?

But....a lot of the peaks are in National Forests, the Blue Ridge Parkway, etc. Same thing in WV......

Of course, southwest VA is 500 miles from 'anywhere'...... put in some wind machines and you'd need to build 300 miles of power lines to connect them to 'someplace'.

Same probably true in a lot of places in WV.

t.
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We're going to make the conversion from fossils to wind fastest in the wind-rich states out west first, and the wind-poorer states (like WV) will follow on later - because that's what makes sense given the distribution of resources.

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WV is not a wind poor state. It is only about 10% less wind speed and power generation capability than wind rich states.

WV is small state in size and population compared to the big wind states of Texas, Oklahoma and the other Midwest states, thus it will never have the room needed for all the wind turbines in the big states. But then WV does not need as much power generation as the big states.

WV has plenty of good quality wind to power 5GW of new capacity by 2030 and another 5GW of new capacity by 2035.

Jaak
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Jaak:"WV has plenty of good quality wind to power 5GW of new capacity by 2030 and another 5GW of new capacity by 2035. "

Heck, it will need 10x that to meet anywhere need 50% renewable ........but of course the charts show that in the summer time, WV generates 1/3rd the wind power than it does in the winter time....go back and check the links.....Which means you need to build 85% of total needs with NG......and it sits at 25% in the winter, spikes to 80% in the summer, and some days maybe be 90% of total power used that day.

- -----

WV area - 24,230 sq miles

TX area - 268,000 square miles

Population of TX 28.5 million

Population of WV - 1.79 million

Therefore there are fewer people per square mile in WV......than there are in TX.....Texas has 10x the are and 14 times the population (not counting 2 million new 'migrants' a year flooding in......

WV is less populated per square mile than TX - average .

t.
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Jaak: "Virginia has less mountains to capture the wind."

t: "Mountains in VA are even taller than in WV."

============================================================

One tall mountain does not make VA more mountainous WV. I have seen these mountains. I have lived in Pittsburgh and Maryland. I often visited these mountains. I say the Allegheny Mountains of WV cover a larger area than the Cumberland Mountains in the SW corner of VA.

EIA confirms that the mountains in VA offer limited wind energy potential:

Virginia has large areas with wind energy potential off its Atlantic coast and in the Chesapeake Bay, but onshore resources are limited and there is no utility-scale wind electricity generation in the state. A demonstration project, Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind, 27 miles off Virginia Beach, has two 6-megawatt turbines that are the first wind turbines installed in federal waters.

https://www.eia.gov/state/analysis.php?sid=VA#:~:text=Virgin....

Jaak
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Heck, it will need 10x that to meet anywhere need 50% renewable ........but of course the charts show that in the summer time, WV generates 1/3rd the wind power than it does in the winter time....go back and check the links.....Which means you need to build 85% of total needs with NG......and it sits at 25% in the winter, spikes to 80% in the summer, and some days maybe be 90% of total power used that day.

===================================

You claim WV needs 10x of 5MW or 50MW of wind to provide 50% renewable.

But only 7.5 MW of coal power currently is used by WV for 95% of electricity consumed in WV.

Seems like a lot of BS in your numbers.

Jaak
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WV is not a wind poor state. It is only about 10% less wind speed and power generation capability than wind rich states.

It's much more than 10%. Much, much more. Nearly all of WV has an average wind speed at utility height of between 4-5 m/s. In the Wind Belt, those speeds are between 8-9 m/s. Nearly double. Iowa isn't the #2 state in the country in total wind generation because of its large population - it's #2 because it's got enormous wind resources. Even in 'moderate' good wind states, you're looking at wind speeds running around 6-7 m/s - about 20-25% richer in wind resources than in WV.

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/wind/where-wind-power-is...

You don't think that matters? There's a reason why so much wind investment has taken place in the Great Plains/Wind Corridor area - even though most of those states are Red states. Because an extra 50-100% margin is enormous in deciding where to locate resources. Heck, if I can generate 20% more power from a typical wind facility if I locate it in Ohio rather than in WV, I'm going to put it in Ohio. I should put it in Ohio, and export the electricity to WV - the environment doesn't care about our fictional state lines on a map, and the greater unit of electricity provided per unit of investment, the better our transition will go.

We're not eliminating fossil fuels in electrical power in either the short-run or the intermediate-run. We'll still have a 'carbon budget' for electrical power generation well into 2050 and beyond. And most of that carbon budget will, and should, be allocated to the mid-Atlantic/lower Appalachian states, where wind resources are weaker than nearly everywhere else and where there is relatively little insolation. Wind power is possible in West Virginia, but its more efficient almost everywhere else.

Albaby
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WV is not a wind poor state. It is only about 10% less wind speed and power generation capability than wind rich states.

It's much more than 10%. Much, much more. Nearly all of WV has an average wind speed at utility height of between 4-5 m/s. In the Wind Belt, those speeds are between 8-9 m/s.

===============================================

Along the Allegheny Mountains the wind speed in WV is 7-8 m/s and in some places 8-9 m/s.

https://energywv.org/assets/files/renewable-energy/wind/wv_w...

Jaak
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Jaak""But only 7.5 MW of coal power currently is used by WV for 95% of electricity consumed in WV."

WV exports a lot of its electricity...

https://www.wvcoal.com/news-2/latest-news/34-latest/5184-wes...


It is ranked fifth for electricity exports with 28 million megawatt hours a year.


t.
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"It's much more than 10%. Much, much more. Nearly all of WV has an average wind speed at utility height of between 4-5 m/s. In the Wind Belt, those speeds are between 8-9 m/s. Nearly double. Iowa isn't the #2 state in the country in total wind generation because of its large population - it's #2 because it's got enormous wind resources. Even in 'moderate' good wind states, you're looking at wind speeds running around 6-7 m/s - about 20-25% richer in wind resources than in WV."

Most significantly, power delivered by a wind machine is proportional to the CUBE of the wind speed!

double the wind speed means 8 times the power!

" wind speed is extremely important for the amount of energy a wind turbine can convert to electricity: The energy content of the wind varies with the cube (the third power) of the average wind speed, e.g. if the wind speed is twice as high it contains 2 3 = 2 x 2 x 2 = eight times as much energy.

http://www.xn--drmstrre-64ad.dk/wp-content/wind/miller/windp...


t
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Jaak: "But only 7.5 MW of coal power currently is used by WV for 95% of electricity consumed in WV."

t: WV exports a lot of its electricity...

=======================================

Exporting lots of electricity is not the subject of this discussion.

The discussion has been about 1) eliminating coal fired power plants in WV and 2) can WV provide enough electricity from wind generation, natural gas generation and other renewables for instate needs.

I have shown that it can be done with 5 MW of new wind power and 5 MW of natural gas power added to their existing renewable power generation.

They do not need to export 50% of electricity generated in WV.

Jaak
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Along the Allegheny Mountains the wind speed in WV is 7-8 m/s and in some places 8-9 m/s.

Not especially relevant - there are specific points in the Wind Corridor where the average wind speed is upwards of 11 m/s or more.

More relevant is the fact that a state like Iowa is filled with places and sites where the average wind speed is really high, and a state like West Virginia is not. Sure, the very best sites in West Virginia might be better than some below-average sites in Iowa. But on the whole, you're going to get have vastly more options with better wind resources out in the Plains - or even in nearby Ohio - than in West Virginia.

So while in WV you might yourself having to find specific spots high in the mountains in order to get a site that has 7-8 m/s wind resources, in most of the rest of the country those locations are a dime a dozen. And in those other states there are plenty of better spots to spare.

West Virginia just isn't a great wind state compared to a lot of other areas. And it's that comparison that matters as we're making this transition, because investment is going to go to the best marginal sites first. Which means mostly not in West Virginia or the mid-Atlantic, and instead mostly going to the Plains and upper Midwest (and offshore).

Albaby
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Exporting lots of electricity is not the subject of this discussion.

The discussion has been about 1) eliminating coal fired power plants in WV and 2) can WV provide enough electricity from wind generation, natural gas generation and other renewables for instate needs.

I have shown that it can be done with 5 MW of new wind power and 5 MW of natural gas power added to their existing renewable power generation.

They do not need to export 50% of electricity generated in WV.


Maybe it should be part of the discussion. With WV located near RGGI states, it stands to benefit from exporting power to those states. Imports are one way for RGGI states to make up for their decreasing CO2 allowances.
https://www.rggi.org/sites/default/files/Uploads/Fact%20Shee...

On page 4, you can see how much net imports have increase since 2006.
https://www.rggi.org/sites/default/files/Uploads/Electricity...

PSU
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Maybe it should be part of the discussion. With WV located near RGGI states, it stands to benefit from exporting power to those states. Imports are one way for RGGI states to make up for their decreasing CO2 allowances.

==========================================

So dirty coal fired electricity is OK for RGGI states?

Jaak
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So dirty coal fired electricity is OK for RGGI states?

Moving the goal post again, Jaak?

You were proved wrong on that point.

Admit it, like a man, and move on.
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So dirty coal fired electricity is OK for RGGI states?

Desert Dave writes:

Moving the goal post again, Jaak?

You were proved wrong on that point.

Admit it, like a man, and move on.

============================================

I do not understand what you are claiming. Maybe you and PSU can clarify.

Jaak
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So dirty coal fired electricity is OK for RGGI states?

Maybe that is a question for you to pursue with the RGGI states. You are retired, you have time. Currently, each state's RGGI program doesn't prevent the import of coal-fired electricity. This can create environmental justice issues. They lower their production of in-state electricity and export their pollution to neighboring non-RGGI states through the import of electricity from those states.

PSU
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So dirty coal fired electricity is OK for RGGI states?

Currently, each state's RGGI program doesn't prevent the import of coal-fired electricity. This can create environmental justice issues. They lower their production of in-state electricity and export their pollution to neighboring non-RGGI states through the import of electricity from those states.

==============================================

This certainly does create environmental justice issues. If I lived in Virginia, I would beat down the doors of my state environmental agency and demand an end to all the smoke and pollution from WV polluting my air and water. How do people in NC feel about coal fired pollution being generated in NC and blown in from other states?

That is why we need rules and regulations to eliminate/minimize cross state pollution. The following rules only address NOx pollution. What about PM2.5, PM10, mercury and other pollutants released by coal fired power plants.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2021-03/documents/re...

https://www.epa.gov/csapr/revised-cross-state-air-pollution-...

Jaak
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This certainly does create environmental justice issues. If I lived in Virginia, I would beat down the doors of my state environmental agency and demand an end to all the smoke and pollution from WV polluting my air and water. How do people in NC feel about coal fired pollution being generated in NC and blown in from other states?

NC has some of the cleanest coal-fired EGUs in the country due to the Clean Smokestacks Act.
https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/air-quality/air-quality-o...

Also Duke has closed several coal-fired plants and is in the process of retiring a bunch more by 2030. I've already provided you with a link to the IRP before.

When CA is some of the dirtiest air in the country cleans up its act, residents of that state can complain about other states. Right now, NC doesn't have any nonattainment areas. The reason NC isn't in CSAPR is that it doesn't contribute to downwind states.

PSU
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This certainly does create environmental justice issues. If I lived in Virginia, I would beat down the doors of my state environmental agency and demand an end to all the smoke and pollution from WV polluting my air and water.

I think you're misreading his point. The RGGI imposes some carbon caps on in-state production of electricity. But electricity that is imported from other states isn't subject to those caps. This creates an mechanism for states to meet their cap requirements, but still keep electricity prices low, by importing electricity from other states. This in effect allows the RGGI states (like Virginia) to 'export' their pollution to states like WV - not the other way around. So instead of burning coal in Virginia, they burn the coal in WV and then export the electricity into Virginia.

It's just a basic leakage scenario.

https://peccpubs.pace.edu/getFileContents.php?resourceid=531...

Albaby
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NC has some of the cleanest coal-fired EGUs in the country due to the Clean Smokestacks Act.

=====================================

I was not complaining about NC coal fired plants. I was complaining about WV coal fired plants polluting the VA and NC air.

I made a typo when I posted: How do people in NC feel about coal fired pollution being generated in NC [I meant WV] and blown in from other states?

Being a downwind state, don't you think there should be better cross-border pollution regulations?

Jaak
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This creates an mechanism for states to meet their cap requirements, but still keep electricity prices low, by importing electricity from other states. This in effect allows the RGGI states (like Virginia) to 'export' their pollution to states like WV - not the other way around. So instead of burning coal in Virginia, they burn the coal in WV and then export the electricity into Virginia.

==================================================

LOL! They are fighting mother nature trying to export pollution from VA to WV. Pollution from tall WV chimneys is dispersed and deposited in VA which is downwind of WV. So VA gets electricity and pollution from WV. Not very smart!

Coal from the Northern Appalachian region, which includes northern West Virginia, has high sulfur content and is less desirable for burning because of air pollution because of SO2.

Jaak
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Being a downwind state, don't you think there should be better cross-border pollution regulations?

The CAA already has good neighbor provisions. States can file Section 126 petition with EPA if that State believes an upwind state is interfering with the attainment of a NAAQS in the state.
https://www.epa.gov/interstate-air-pollution-transport/what-...

PSU
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LOL! They are fighting mother nature trying to export pollution from VA to WV. Pollution from tall WV chimneys is dispersed and deposited in VA which is downwind of WV. So VA gets electricity and pollution from WV. Not very smart!

Coal from the Northern Appalachian region, which includes northern West Virginia, has high sulfur content and is less desirable for burning because of air pollution because of SO2.


RGGI is a coalition of states to try to lower carbon dioxide emissions (small correction to Albaby that it is carbon dioxide cap, not carbon cap) within the RGGI states. The goal of this cap and trade system is not to control other emissions like SO2 or mercury. They do recognize there can be co-benefits where elimination of high carbon dioxide sources such as coal-fired EGUs can lower other pollutant emissions. The leakage issue that Albaby mentions is an issue here in that the imports do not have to come from low carbon dioxide sources from non-RGGI states.

PSU
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