COAL POWER Direct [February 1, 2012]

Audit Your Coal Dust Prevention Program

The hazards of coal dust accumulation in power plants are familiar to coal-fired plant operators. Operators of plants that burn Powder River Basin coal are particularly aware of necessary housekeeping and fuel-handling practices, but any plant that allows excessive amounts of coal dust to accumulate is playing Russian Roulette with its staff and equipment.

Collecting Dust

Rules requiring removal of combustible dust from the workplace will undoubtedly improve worker safety and health. A survey of equipment suppliers finds a variety of dust collection systems are available to meet just about every dust collection need in the power house.

Constructing and Managing Coal Ash Landfills

Creating a landfill to hold dry boiler ash is a challenging proposition these days. There's more to the project than you might imagine, as you'll learn from this article about the development of a typical new ash landfill.

EIA: Policy and $3 Gas Could Prompt Accelerated Decline of Coal Power, Renewables

The U.S. power sector will see heightened electricity consumption over the next two years, a spurt in natural gas–fueled power generation that is expected to offset a slight decline in coal power, and a significant decline in hydropower generation that could mark a decline in overall renewable generation, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) says in its latest short-term outlook.

EPA Releases, Federal Court Blocks CSAPR

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit temporarily blocked the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) just two days before it was set to go into effect. The federal court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue administering the previously promulgated Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) until a final decision can be made on the merits of the rule, likely this summer or fall.

EPA Finalizes Air Toxics Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Dec. 21 issued its final Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), which will require about 40% of all coal-fired power plants in the U.S. to deploy pollution control technologies to curb emissions of mercury and other air pollutants such as arsenic and cyanide within three years.

Taking Energy Independence Seriously

At year end 2011, as Americans emptied their wallets at the gas pump and crude oil reached almost $100 a barrel, OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia reported an $81.6 billion 2011 budget surplus.

The Broken Window

The expectation of millions of "green jobs" has disappeared from public debate. Today, the debate is narrowly focused on "jobs" and selecting the best approach to developing permanent jobs, regardless of color. Some look to the government to create jobs through regulation or subsidy, and others trust companies operating under free market principles to create permanent jobs.

Top 12 Energy Issues for '12

With the 2012 election year upon us, it promises to be an interesting time for energy politics and policy. Here are 12 (really 13 because of some creative headline writing) issues that will keep the sector hopping this year.