utilities coal companies black swan downturn

Even Without Eco-Rights & Land Rights Enforced
fracking environmental

Coal’s Unprecedented Collapse

Power plant emissions fall because coal just can't compete in the market. This 2012 article is from Sightline, Spt 26.

by Clark Williams-Derry

The US Energy Information Administration released new numbers today, with shocking news for the coal industry: the nation’s electric utilities used 18 percent less coal in the first half of 2012 than they did in 2011, and 27 percent less than they did during the peak year, 2008.

In short, big coal companies are in the middle of a free-fall, and nobody’s sure when they’ll hit bottom.

So a drop of this magnitude is a proverbial “black swan“ -- an unforeseeable event with dramatic, world-changing consequences.

And if anything, coal’s collapse is accelerating: consumption slumped during the economic downturn in 2008 but dropped even faster during the recovery.

Coal’s troubles can mostly be traced to a single cause: a boom in natural gas.

The decline in natural gas prices can be traced to fracking -- a production technique that carries substantial greenhouse emissions risks and contributes to other environmental problems as well.

To read more

JJS: People, especially business people, like to save money. People could cut their expenses with safe and clean energy sources, because those sources don’t damage health and environment. But for those savings to be made clear, utilities that burn fossil fuels would have to charge their customers more in order to have the money to cover the costs of repairing damages, but corporations won’t cover the costs they impose on others unless government forces them.

Governments could stand up to electrical utilities if the latter had less power, which they would if they captured less rent (the worth of Earth). So to whittle energy companies down to human scale, society must capture the rents paid for energy resources and not leave them on the table for energy conglomerates to corral for themselves. And for government to behave in such an enlightened fashion, the citizenry must grow a movement to raise public awareness and pressure the powers that be to recover the socially-generated values of nature for the benefit of all.

So a farewell to fossil fuel is up to both the market and to you. If you'd like to know more about geonomics, you could take a class on Sustainable Economics online October 7th (this Sunday) within the Land Rights and Land Value Capture course. To read more . To attend . PIN Code (session ID): 090366# (if required)


Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics and helped prepare a course for the UN on geonomics. To take the “Land Rights” course, click here .

Also see:

Tax Dollars Subsidize CEO Pay

Why Make Something Plentiful Scarce?

Biggest US Utility Takes US Taxpayers For a Ride

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