On the Blogs: Trump’s Fake News on Coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wamsted on Energy:John Adams, our second president, generally gets credit for this wonderful aphorism, but regardless of who was the first to say it, the observation itself is what matters: You simply cannot wish away facts. This came to mind earlier this week when I looked at the Energy Information Administration’s monthly electric power overview (which can be found here); it’s a publication that only the geekiest of energy wonks would ever read, particularly on a regular basis. However, dry as it may be, it does one thing exceedingly well: It presents facts, just as they are—not as people may want them to be.One of the many such facts that caught my eye this month concerns electricity generation from coal, that shiny black rock that seems to be the moving force behind all the Trump administration’s energy and environmental policies. ‘The war on coal is over,’ his minions mouth repeatedly. ‘We are going to bring the jobs back,’ the president assures miners at every opportunity.Problem is, facts are stubborn things. In the EIA review, which covers the first nine months of 2017, coal-fired electricity generation fell compared to the comparable year-earlier period. To be fair, it didn’t drop by much, sliding 1.5 percent to 919,805 thousand megawatt-hours from 934,267 thousand mwh a year ago. However, if the war is over and the jobs are coming back, then there should have been no slide at all; indeed, there should have been an increase.The slide in coal-fired generation also pushed coal production for the sector, which accounts for the vast majority of U.S. coal consumption, down during the first nine months. Overall, just over 504 million tons of coal were used to generate electricity, down from 509 million in 2016—which was the lowest production year for the industry since 1979. Hardly the turnaround the Trump administration repeatedly trumpets.What the administration definitely doesn’t trumpet in its incessant tweets and coal-dominated decision-making, is that during this same nine-month period, generation from non-emitting wind and solar jumped 13.6 percent, climbing to 284,584 mwh from 250,482 mwh in 2016. Combined with hydro, renewables generated just over 525,000 mwh of electricity annually for the first nine months of the year, within hailing distance of the nation’s nuclear sector, which has generated just under 600,000 mwh so far this year.And while the administration clearly is not a fan of renewables, more growth in this sector is just around the corner. The American Wind Energy Association says 84,000 MW of wind capacity are installed across the United States, with another 25,000 MW under construction. Similarly, the Solar Energy Industries Association reports that 47,000 MW of solar capacity has been installed in the U.S., with another 21,000 MW of utility-scale solar generation currently in the construction pipeline.As much as Trump and his backers like to blame renewables and the environmental community for the downfall of coal, the stubborn little fact is that the war, such as it was, against coal was waged, and won, by natural gas. From an expensive afterthought used largely just as a peaking resource during periods of high demand in the early 2000s, natural gas has taken ever-larger chunks of the electric generation market since then. From less than 20 percent of the total in 2001 (when coal’s share was roughly 50 percent), natural gas’ share of the market has climbed steadily, reaching 34 percent in 2016 and topping coal as the largest single source of electricity in the United States.More: The Facts Tell The Story: Coal Comeback Is Nothing But A Trump Delusion
“I’m ready,” he said. “I wasn’t ready to leave.” Domino – whose real first name is Antoine and who is known in New Orleans nearly as much for his reclusiveness as for hits such as “Blueberry Hill,” “Blue Monday” and “Ain’t That a Shame” – rode out Hurricane Katrina in the Ninth Ward, where the Aug. 29, 2005, storm did some of its worst damage. His family and agent had reported him missing and learned days later that he had survived when they saw a photo in The Times-Picayune that showed him stepping off a rescuer’s boat. Domino, who had been back to see the Ninth Ward at least once before Friday, said he had no doubt he would eventually return for good. Workers are rebuilding his home, which is expected to be restored by summer. For many in the heavily devastated neighborhood, which some have said shouldn’t be rebuilt, Domino’s return is a sign of hope. “This is not about just getting one guy back in his house. It really is symbolic of this city coming back,” said Bill Taylor, director of the Tipitina’s Foundation, which is paying to repair the home Domino has lived in for decades. “There is hope down here now.” NEW ORLEANS – Fats Domino broke into soft song as he stepped slowly through his gutted house in the city’s flood-ravaged Lower Ninth Ward on Friday. Sometimes the Hall of Fame piano man murmured a line of his familiar lyrics. At other moments, he just seemed to be thinking out loud, with a tune. “Why such bad luck fall on me?” the 79-year-old sang, looking out a rear window into the neighborhood where he was born in 1928. In between melodies, he said repeatedly that it’s time to come home. Surrounded by blocks of abandoned homes – many untouched since Katrina – Domino’s house was buzzing with workers. Outside, they scraped away rust from the black iron fence that surrounds the house and gave it a fresh coat of paint. Inside, they tried to decide how to replace the air-conditioning system and electrical circuits. Sitting in what used to be his pink entertainment room on a bench from the front porch, Domino recalled memories of his life in the Ninth Ward – cutting grass for the neighbors, cooking red beans and rice for family and friends. “It don’t take a lot to be happy,” he said with a smile. The foundation, which helped scores of musicians find housing and new instruments after the hurricane, will spend upward of $100,000 restoring Domino’s home. The foundation is working with entertainers Elton John, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, B.B. King and others who will record a tribute album of Domino’s songs to benefit the foundation. Roughly 25 percent of the proceeds will go toward Domino’s home, Taylor said. The back end of a pink 1959 Cadillac that for years sat in the living area of his home and served as a couch is being restored. Plans also call for bringing back many original details, including pink walls to match the car. A mirrored glass balcony and brass railing, which were not damaged during Katrina, also will be kept. After Katrina, Domino was taken to the Superdome, then by bus with other evacuees to Louisiana State University’s basketball arena in Baton Rouge, where he reunited with his family. They left the arena and spent two days at the off-campus apartment of Tigers quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who knew a friend of Domino’s family. Domino spent some time in a New Orleans hotel after that before moving into a gated community full of newly constructed homes in suburban Harvey.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!