New Federal Regulations Force Coal to Tighten Its Belt

New Federal Regulations Force Coal to Tighten Its Belt

In Coal-Utility, Dust Control, Regulations by Dan Carpenter

Recent measures implemented by the U.S. EPA will enact even stricter regulations on the activity of the nation’s coal companies. The need to cut costs has never been greater, and companies must look to third parties like Midwest for help.

Earlier this month, President Obama announced the enactment of the Clean Power Plan, a series of measures aimed at reducing carbon emissions and limiting our reliance on nonrenewable energy sources.

The legislation represents a serious blow to many coal producers, the companies that still provide a huge slice of our national energy supply. In order to thrive in an increasingly rigid political and economic environment, the coal industry will need to develop new strategies to cope with new requirements.

The Changing Tides of Energy Use

A few years back, coal was regularly feeling the glow of the spotlight. Numerous scientific and government initiatives had been designed to create technologies that would make it a cleaner and more efficient source of energy. And there were even suggestions of liquefying coal to power our cars and trucks, according to Scientific American.

That picture has somewhat changed today. In the national media, there has been a pronounced shift in favor of renewable energy production, despite the massive domestic coal reserves that still exist across the country. And all that new technological research and investment?

More and more, it’s being oriented towards renewable energy production. There’s no denying that the demand for coal has been falling, and the recent legislation is just the latest challenge the industry has been forced to grapple with.

The Legislation

The Clean Power Plan, introduced by President Obama and the EPA, is a state by state initiative to reduce overall emissions and pollution. As the Washington Post observes, while it affects a number of industries, the law’s main target is clearly coal.

In recent years, the global community has taken increasingly direct action to reduce carbon emissions, and the U.S. has been under the greatest pressure to follow suit. This law is the culmination of that pressure, and is perhaps the most severe instance of energy sector regulation to date.

To the chagrin of many, the plan will raise the costs of coal extraction and lend a competitive advantage to rival energy sources, like natural gas. And while emissions targets will be established on a local level, most all plants across the nation will be affected.

However, this does not spell the end for coal — not even close. The national demand for electricity continues to grow, which means coal companies still retain a necessary and prominent place in domestic markets.

Meeting the Rising Tide

If coal companies are going to thrive amidst the implementation of the Clean Power Plan, they must find ways to both cut costs and promote environmentally friendly operations. More likely than not, this will mean investing in third parties that specialize in controlling emissions and meeting regulatory standards.

Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. provides a spectrum of services that can benefit all aspects of the coal production process. By sealing coal stockpiles, topping rail transport cars, and eliminating fugitive dust, companies can implement affordable and environmentally sound solutions that boost the bottom line.

For example, Midwest’s Soil-Sement® eliminates coal dust, stabilizes the coal surface, and prevents water intrusion. This increases the longevity of stored coal, and limits product degradation. And indeed, coal dust is not only an environmental hazard, but it also damages equipment, presenting additional costs.

Additionally, Midwest’s in-transit solutions can reduce overall dust by 85%. And all products are designed to minimize costs and ensure you meet increasingly strict EPA emissions targets.

With over four decades of experience, Midwest is a leader in helping companies adjust to new challenges and cut excessive costs. Moreover, our team will work with you through and after implementation to ensure our products are working effectively. The Clean Power Plan may present a serious setback to the coal industry, but enlisting the services of Midwest can help keep your operation on top of the market.

(Image credit: martin/flickr)