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Trump budget sustains coal support

  • Market: Coal
  • 11/03/19

President Donald Trump's fiscal 2020 year budget proposes less restrictive cuts for coal-related programs than for other government areas, in some cases even increasing funding.

The proposed budget released today would trim funding to the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) by 11.7pc and 23.2pc, respectively, to $1.4bn and $634.1mn for the year starting 1 October. And the Department of Energy budget would decrease by 11pc to $31.7bn.

Those proposed reductions pale with the 31pc cut planned for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The administration said it is putting a priority on finalizing rule proposals including EPA's Affordable Clean Energy rule and revisions to the Waters of the US rule. It also wants to increase spending on fossil fuel research and "cut red tape" that has lengthened the permitting process for energy projects.

"The United States has among the most abundant and diverse energy resources in the world, including oil, gas, coal, nuclear, and renewables," the administration said its proposal for the Energy Department. "The ability of entrepreneurs and businesses to commercialize technologies that take full advantage of those resources is paramount to promoting US economic growth, security, and competitiveness."

The budget would expend Energy Department spending on research and development of early-stage nuclear and fossil fuel technology by $127mn and increase overall appropriations for the Office of Fossil Energy Research and Development by $60mn, to $562mn. It also would increase spending on improving the mine review process within OSMRE by $3.8mn and raise BLM's coal management program funding by $7.89mn, to $19.8mn.

At the same time, the administration is proposing reducing some renewables funding, including eliminating the Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program. The department is proposing cutting the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's budget to $343mn from $2.3bn, although funding would be supplemented with prior year balances of $353mn.

The administration's plan faces significant hurdles within Congress. Lawmakers rejected the last two proposed budgets, which also sought deep cuts to non-defense spending. And Democrats, who are now in control of the US House of Representatives, have expressed opposition to funding cuts on programs related to energy efficiency, advanced renewable energy technology and climate change.

EPA total appropriations would sink to $6.07bn from the $8.83bn allocated in the agency's fiscal 2019 continuing resolution. This includes a $3mn increase in appropriations "to execute a delegation to states and to develop and implement a permit program for coal combustion residuals."

The US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), meanwhile, is proposing consolidating coal and non-coal mine enforcement activities. That "would provide the flexibility to address industry changes and maximize the efficient use of MSHA's resources," the Department of Labor said.

The department wants to set aside $262.6mn for the restructured enforcement arm, which is $273,000 less than what was enacted for the divisions in fiscal 2019.

The administration is proposing a total $376mn in appropriations for MSHA this coming year, up from $373.8mn enacted for the current year. Most of the increase is for information technology modernization.


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19/07/24

Trump vows to target 'green' spending, EV rules

Trump vows to target 'green' spending, EV rules

Washington, 19 July (Argus) — Former president Donald Trump promised to redirect US green energy spending to other projects, throw out electric vehicle (EV) rules and increase drilling, in a speech Thursday night formally accepting the Republican presidential nomination. Trump's acceptance speech, delivered at the Republican National Convention, offered the clearest hints yet at his potential plans for dismantling the Inflation Reduction Act and the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law. Without explicitly naming the two laws, Trump said he would claw back unspent funds for the "Green New Scam," a shorthand he has used in the past to criticize spending on wind, solar, EVs, energy infrastructure and climate resilience. "All of the trillions of dollars that are sitting there not yet spent, we will redirect that money for important projects like roads, bridges, dams, and we will not allow it to be spent on the meaningless Green New Scam ideas," Trump said during the final night of the convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Trump and his campaign have yet to clearly detail their plans for the two laws, which collectively provide hundreds of billions of dollars worth of federal tax credits and direct spending for renewable energy, EVs, clean hydrogen, carbon capture, sustainable aviation fuel, biofuels, nuclear and advanced manufacturing. Repealing those programs outright could be politically difficult because a majority of spending from the two laws have flowed to districts represented by Republican lawmakers. The speech was Trump's first public remarks since he was grazed by a bullet in an assassination attempt on 13 July. Trump used the shooting to call for the country to unite, but he repeatedly slipped back into the divisive rhetoric of his campaign and his grievances against President Joe Biden, who he claimed was the worst president in US history. Trump vowed to "end the electric vehicle mandate" on the first day of his administration, in an apparent reference to tailpipe rules that are expected to result in about 54pc of new cars and trucks sales being battery-only EVs by model year 2032. Trump also said that unless automakers put their manufacturing facilities in the US, he would put tariffs of 100-200pc on imported vehicles. To tackle inflation, Trump said he would bring down interest rates, which are controlled by the US Federal Reserve, an agency that historically acts independently from the White House. Trump also said he would bring down prices for energy through a policy of "drill, baby, drill" and cutting regulations. Trump also vowed to pursue tax cuts, tariffs and the "largest deportation in history," all of which independent economists say would add to inflation. The Republican convention unfolded as Biden, who is isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, faces a growing chorus of top Democratic lawmakers pressuring him to drop out of the presidential race. Democrats plan to select their presidential nominee during an early virtual roll-call vote or at the Democratic National Convention on 19-22 August. By Chris Knigh t Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Australia’s Whitehaven hits 2023-24 coal guidance


19/07/24
News
19/07/24

Australia’s Whitehaven hits 2023-24 coal guidance

Sydney, 19 July (Argus) — Australian coal producer Whitehaven met its production guidance for its New South Wales (NSW) mines in the 2023-24 fiscal year to 30 June, with managed run-of-mine (ROM) output from its newly acquired Queensland mines also meeting their guidance. Saleable coal production at Whitehaven's NSW-based assets totalled 16.7mn t for 2023-24, up by 6pc on the 15.7mn t recorded last fiscal year and within its guidance for 2023-24 of 16mn-17.5mn t. Saleable output from NSW for April-June was 4.3mn t, 11pc higher than January-March's 3.87mn t and above the year earlier figure of 3.83mn t. Saleable production from Queensland totalled 4mn t, Whitehaven's first quarter since acquiring Australian-Japanese joint venture BHP Mitsubishi Alliance's 12mn t/yr Blackwater and 4mn t/yr Daunia coking and thermal coal mines on 2 April. Queensland coal sales of 3.2mn t for the quarter reflected slippage into July-September because of now resolved, transition-related rail constraints from Daunia, Whitehaven said. A selldown of around 20pc of Blackwater to global steel producers is progressing, the firm reported, without providing further details. The first production and sales have been achieved at the 10mn t/yr Vickery mine , while operations ceased during April at the 2.5mn t/yr ROM capacity Werris Creek mine. Whitehaven's overall unaudited unit cost guidance, excluding royalties, for NSW in 2023-24 was A$114/t ($76/t), above the guidance range of A$103-113/t because of lower production at Narrabri and underlying inflation. Capital expenditure was A$380mn, below the 2023-24 guidance of A$400-480mn. The Argus high-grade 6,000 kcal/kg NAR price averaged $133.46/t fob Newcastle and the 5,500 kcal/kg NAR coal price $88.47/t during April-June compared with $126.74/t and $93.85/t respectively for January-March. Whitehaven's full-year results will be published on 22 August. By Tom Major Whitehaven results Apr-Jun '24 Jan-Mar '24 Apr-Jun '23 Volumes (mn t) Managed coal production 8.3 3.9 3.8 Managed coal sales 7.3 3.8 3.9 Managed coal stocks 2.7 1.0 1.5 Coal sales revenue mix (%) Metallurgical coal 59 13 5 Thermal coal 41 87 95 Prices achieved ($/t) NSW average 137 136 177 Queensland average 180 Source: Whitehaven Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Philippine senator urges action to cut coal use


18/07/24
News
18/07/24

Philippine senator urges action to cut coal use

Singapore, 18 July (Argus) — The Philippines needs to reduce its reliance on coal-fired power generation by enhancing the use of renewables, according to the chairman of the Senate committee on energy Win Gatchalian. Gatchalian called for firm energy transition measures, emphasising the importance of a proper plan for wider use of renewable energy and lower electricity prices. He believes an energy transition plan would help accelerate the use of renewable energy sources and reduce energy prices and vulnerability to global events. The average generation cost of coal-fired power by utility Manila Electric was 7.40 pesos/kWh ($0.13/kWh), while the cost for solar power generation is 44pc lower at Ps4.18/kWh, Gatchalian said. Gatchalian had earlier proposed legislation in the Senate, the Energy Transition Act, which plans to phase out fossil fuel plants and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The Philippines has surpassed Indonesia and China on coal-fired power generation reliance with a 61.9pc share in its 2023 generation, Gatchalian said, citing energy think-tank Ember.Its coal-fired generation was 16.7TWh over January-March this year, up by 8.4pc from 15.4TWh a year earlier, according to data from National Grid Corporation of the Philippines. The Philippines' thermal coal imports reached an all-time monthly high in May as heatwaves spurred power demand and coal consumption at utilities. By Nadhir Mokhtar Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Trump taps Vance as running mate for 2024


15/07/24
News
15/07/24

Trump taps Vance as running mate for 2024

Washington, 15 July (Argus) — Former president Donald Trump has selected US senator JD Vance (R-Ohio) as his vice presidential pick for his 2024 campaign, elevating a former venture capitalist and close ally to become his running mate in the election. Vance, 39, is best known for his bestselling memoir Hillbilly Elegy that documented his upbringing in Middletown, Ohio, and his Appalachian roots. In the run-up to the presidential elections in 2016, Vance said he was "a never Trump guy" and called Trump "reprehensible." But he has since become one of Trump's top supporters and adopted many of his policies on the economy and immigration. Vance voted against providing more military aid to Ukraine and pushed Europe to spend more on defense. Trump said he chose his running mate after "lengthy deliberation and thought," citing Vance's service in the military, his law degree and his business career, which included launching venture capital firm Narya in 2020. Vance will do "everything he can to help me MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN," Trump said today in a social media post. Like Trump, Vance has pushed to increase domestic oil and gas production and criticized government support for electric vehicles. President Joe Biden's energy policies have been "at war" with workers in states that are struggling because of the importance of low-cost energy to manufacturing, Vance said last month in an interview with Fox News. Trump made the announcement about Vance on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and just two days after surviving an assassination attempt during a campaign event in Pennsylvania. Earlier today, federal district court judge Aileen Cannon threw out a felony indictment that alleged Trump had mishandled classified government documents after leaving office. By Chris Knight Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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India, SE Asia demand lift Indonesian May coal exports


15/07/24
News
15/07/24

India, SE Asia demand lift Indonesian May coal exports

Singapore, 15 July (Argus) — Indonesian coal exports rose in May from a year earlier, led by higher demand from India and southeast Asia. The country exported 46.27mn t of coal in May, up by 6.6pc from a year earlier and by 3.9pc from April , customs data show. The data include all types of coal, such as thermal and coking coal. Indonesia exported about 222mn t of coal in January-May, up from 212mn t a year earlier. The country could export 532.59mn t this year if the current production run rate of 44.37mn t/month is maintained over the next seven months, according to Argus calculations based on customs data. Indonesia exported 521.10mn t last year. The year-on-year increase in May exports was supported mainly by higher demand from India, the world's second-largest coal importer, as utilities lifted their import purchases to replenish stocks for the summer season. Shipments to India in May rose by about 19pc on the year to 10.1mn t, according to the data, although exports slipped from 11.34mn t in April. The steady growth in Indian coal-fired generation, which hit an all-time high in May, continued to support demand for imported coal. The country's overall coal-fired generation, which meets most of the country's power requirements, rose to 119.53TWh, from 106.03TWh a year earlier, according to data from the Central Electricity Authority. Coal-fired generation in May was also higher than 116.5TWh in April, supported by increased power consumption caused by higher air-conditioning usage during the summer heatwaves. Indonesian exports also rose to cater for greater demand from southeast Asia. Exports to the region in May rose by 15.5pc on the year and by 1.5pc from April to 11.19mn t. This was led by a steady rise in exports to Vietnam, where shipments grew by 47pc on the year and by about 17pc on the month to 3.34mn t in May. Demand was led by utilities as coal-fired generation reached a probable record high of 17.08TWh in May, as per Argus calculations based on data from state-owned utility EVN. Vietnamese coal imports reached 6.50mn t in May , up from 4.97mn t a year earlier and from 5.90mn t in April, provisional customs data show. Shipments to China, the world's largest coal importer, accounted for nearly 40pc of Indonesian exports at 18.44mn t, down from 18.82mn t a year earlier but up from 15.57mn t in April. The year-on-year decline was caused by Chinese utilities being less aggressive this year in purchasing seaborne cargoes because of subdued thermal power generation. China's thermal power generation, which mainly uses coal, fell to 454TWh in May from 471TWh a year earlier and 459TWh in April, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics. China's imports of thermal coal — including non-coking bituminous coal, sub-bituminous coal and lignite — totalled 32.7mn t, down from 31.4mn t a year earlier and from 32.9mn t in April, Chinese customs data show. Output rises A rise in Indonesian coal production supported higher exports in January-May. Output during the period rose to 334mn t, from 314mn t a year earlier, according to data from the country's energy ministry, ESDM. But output in June may have eased on the year to 54mn t, taking the year-to-date tally to about 388mn t, up by 2.1pc from a year earlier. The data will probably be revised, as output is frequently reviewed in Indonesia because of a lag in some producers' reporting. Indonesian output could face pressure from heavy rains in parts of the key coal-producing Kalimantan region, while production cutbacks could also affect overall production. Some coal producers could trim output in response to ongoing low prices in the international market. Argus on 12 July assessed Indonesian GAR 4,200 kcal/kg coal at $52.07/t fob Kalimantan, the lowest level since mid-September 2023. The price is down sharply from the 2023 peak of $90.41/t in January last year. Lower output could dent the export trajectory. Coal exports in June were estimated at 39.82mn t, according to data from trade analytics firm Kpler. Exports in June last year stood at 39.02mn t, according to customs data, and at 38.72mn t, per Kpler's estimates. By Saurabh Chaturvedi Indonesian coal exports mn t Indonesia coal exports by destination, Jan-May mn t Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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