Issue 9, 2019
 U.S. Senate Committee to Discuss Climate Change, Electricity Changes
"U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said the hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is aimed at putting lawmakers and federal agencies on the same page on addressing climate change and a global energy marketplace."

Why this is important: It was anticipated the House of Representatives would make climate change a priority once the Democrats were back in the majority. The fact the Republican controlled Senate committee is going to have a hearing on climate change signals the issue may be addressed in a bipartisan manner. --- Nicholas S. Preservati
 MGX and Eureka to Recover Lithium from Produced Water
"Lithium-focused junior MGX Minerals has teamed up with water treatment company Eureka Resources to potentially recover lithium from water produced at nonconventional oil and gas sites across the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in the U.S."

Why this is important: Water produced from the fracturing and completion of Appalachian shale wells ultimately must be treated before being returned to surface waters. Apart from their environmental benefit, evolving treatment processes are becoming a downstream enterprise that produce valuable base constituents from this waste stream. Calcium chloride and sodium chloride derived from produced water are basic feed stocks for the chemical industry. Technology for the removal of lithium from produced water also is showing positive results. The metal lithium is an important additive for heat-resistant glass and ceramics, as well as an essential component for high-efficiency batteries. These developing processes are a very important part of sustaining the shale drilling industry in Appalachia. --- William M. Herlihy
 Coal Not 'Irreconcilable' with Addressing Climate Change
"One of BHP Billiton's most senior executives insists the miner's role as a major coal producer does not dampen its commitment to addressing climate change, by promoting a long-term shift in the world's energy mix."

Why this is important: With recent cutbacks in coal usage in China and some reduced production in Australia, BHP Billiton is a major coal producer and wants to promote a long-term strategy for the world energy mix. The company is working on energy efficiency, cutting its emissions and investing in long-term solutions to climate change. It also believes the world cannot completely exit coal due to both the impact on communities and costs for a complete immediate switch. --- Mark E. Heath
 U.S. and China Said to Appear Close to Deal to Roll Back Tariffs
"The United States and China appear close to a deal that would roll back U.S. tariffs on at least $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, as Beijing makes pledges on structural economic changes and eliminates retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, a source briefed on negotiations said."

Why this is important: Uncertainty in China-United States trade relations has resulted in market volatility. The announcement the two countries are close to a deal to resolve their trade difference, if true, would go a long way to calm markets and allow for trade without recently enacted tariffs. --- Bryan S. Neft
 What Would the Green New Deal Mean for Businesses?
"These vulnerabilities are implicit to the goals of the Green New Deal, and its proponents envision that the government will take the lead role in both hastening the transition and ensuring that traditionally marginalized communities reap the benefits."

Why this is important: This article makes the mistaken assumption if coal jobs are lost because of green energy initiatives, the federal government can simply provide economic stimulus to fill the void. The Appalachian coal industry was built over a 100-year period in areas where there is not a diversified economy. It would take decades and billions of dollars to build an industry from the ground up to replace coal. --- Nicholas S. Preservati
 Shale Gas Boom Slows Progress on Renewables in PJM Grid Territory
"But in cloudy and cold rural West Virginia counties surrounding this small city, and in the 12 neighboring mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes states served by PJM - the nation's largest electrical transmission grid operator - the confrontation between renewable technology and fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, is a mismatch."

Why this is important: Not all areas of the U.S. are created equal for purposes of power generation by renewable energy sources. The nature of the weather patterns and geography of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states do not naturally lend themselves to extensive solar and wind power generation that would meet the energy needs of those regions. Limitations on electric power storage and transmission from renewable sources in other regions currently prevents the export of electricity from areas where renewables are more sustainable. It is clear that while the technology for enhanced renewable sources and energy conservation, storage and transmission evolve, there is a need for a mix of sources for our energy requirements. Natural gas is an attractive bridge fuel and not the bad actor in this evolution of our energy supply industry. --- William M. Herlihy
 U.S. Coal Company Leaving Bankruptcy, Mines Go to Creditors
"Westmoreland Coal Co. will keep its name but get new leadership as creditors take control of a firm that fell more than $1.4 billion into debt amid declining coal markets."

Why this is important: Westmoreland Coal plans to exit bankruptcy in the coming weeks. The company plans to keep mines in Montana, New Mexico, and other states and Canadian provinces. The company has sold its Wyoming mine, Kemmerer, to Tom Clarke for $7.5 million cash and $307.5 million in promissory notes. Most of the major coal producers have gone through bankruptcy in recent years. --- Mark E. Heath
 EIA Energy Statistics
Here is a round-up of the latest statistics concerning the energy industry.

Weekly Petroleum Status Report

Natural Gas Weekly Update

Natural Gas Futures Prices

Coal Markets

Weekly Coal Production

Monthly Biodiesel Production Report

Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report
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