Articles on Coal

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If closing brown coal power plants is part of the lowest cost mix of emissions reduction opportunities, then they will close without additional payment from the government. ccdoh1/Flickr

Carbon price is about low-cost emissions reduction, not closing power plants

This week the Australian Government announced that the “payment for closure” element of the Clean Energy Future package would not proceed. The decision has saved taxpayers a multi-billion dollar outlay…
Why hasn’t human health been considered in the push for expanded coal facilities? AAP Image/Paul Miller

Newcastle’s T4 project puts short-term profit before health

A massive expansion of Newcastle’s coal export terminal has been proposed by Port Waratah Coal Services. Approval is likely soon, but the expansion’s effect on human health has been ignored in the project’s…
The Federal Government has given the go-ahead to the Alpha coal development (this picture shows the existing trial mine), but will it ever be built? Greenpeace/Andrew Quilty

On Alpha coal approval, Burke clearly right in battle with Newman

Picking who is right in political disputes is often hard but this one is different. Queensland Premier Campbell Newman was clearly wrong in stating that the Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke is standing…
With Australia’s highest carbon intensity, Victoria’s Hazelwood coal-fired power station is a prime candidate to close down part of its generating capacity. AAP

The case for shutting down Hazelwood power station - some facts and figures

Under its Clean Energy Future, the Federal government will negotiate to close 2000 MW of the dirtiest fossil fuel power generating capacity in Australia by 2020. With the price on carbon now in operation…
Coal’s toll? A Newcastle church cupola damaged in the 1989 earthquake serves as a memorial for the 13 people killed. Flickr/OZinOH

Earthquakes and mining - how humans create seismic activity

This week’s 5.3 magnitude earthquake that struck near Moe in Victoria’s brown-coal mining region of the La Trobe Valley brings to mind the 5.6 magnitude quake of 1989 in another coal-mining heartland…
The ones on the left are on their way out. Richard Brand

Energy myths exposed: King Coal or King Solar?

In our Conversation article, King Coal dethroned, we suggested that renewable energy investment was now outstripping fossil fuel power investment. Many welcomed the news that the future was arriving sooner…
Minister Tony Burke is slowing down coal development in Queensland, but there’s more to it than saving turtles. Landfeldt/Flickr

Commonwealth and Queensland face off over coal and Great Barrier Reef

The halt in the Alpha Coal Project approval process shows the Commonwealth is taking very seriously UNESCO’s recent report threatening downgrading the status of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area…
Plans to transform Victoria’s Latrobe Valley into a mining export hub are misguided. AAP

A brown-coal export hub? Tell them they’re dreaming!

If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. And if wishes were new technology, then Victoria’s Latrobe Valley would be a mining export hub to rival the Pilbara. But wishes are neither horses nor new…
Melting Arctic Sea ice should be the warning we need about expanding coal exports. Michael Sonnabend

On Arctic Sea ice melt and coal mine canaries

Despite peak global temperatures in 2005 and 2010 (unprecedented in the instrumental record), a recent sharp plunge in volume of the Arctic Sea ice and a spate of extreme weather events, coal mining, coal…
Smoking is sickening, but coal and coal-fired power stations? Don’t you worry about that. AAP/Greenpeace

Something in the air: time for independent testing in coal areas

Tens of thousands of Australians live and work close to coal-fired power plants. The cocktail of gaseous and particulate pollutants arising from coal power generation is injurious to human health. All…
India’s power needs are growing at a staggering rate and coal won’t do the job. NASA

How do you power a billion lives?

As the Australian Labor Party changes its stance on trading uranium with India, a pertinent question arises: why is India so keen to buy this controversial fuel? And what do India’s energy resources look…
If we’re going to talk about how safe CSG is (or isn’t), we need to look at the full picture. AAP/Origin Energy

Coal gas seams good … until you measure the methane

The Mineral Resources Rent Tax passed through the House of Representatives last week, but not without negotiations with the Greens and independent MPs. Perhaps the most significant outcome of negotiations…

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