As Attention Moves to Senate Energy Bill, Global Coal Boom Continues

From Andy Revkin at Dot Earth:

One way to keep perspective amid all the Beltway cogitation over how  to keep a climate component in an energy bill is to pay attention to the global coal industry.  Coal is the prime factor determining the pace of growth in emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide as human populations and appetites crest in the next few decades. And regardless of what happens in the United States, the industry’s leaders see nothing but bright prospects ahead. We’re still stuck on the coal rung of  Loren Eiseley’s heat ladder.

Some energy specialists will explain below why the global coal boom renders the legislative debate on climate somewhat moot from the standpoint of the shared global atmosphere, where the source of emissions is irrelevant to their ultimate heating influence.

Here’s the latest signal from the coal industry. Addressing potential investors in Manhattan on Thursday, Gregory Boyce, the chairman and chief executive officer of the world’s biggest coal company,  Peabody Energy, simply gushed as he described how the company is ideally positioned to take advantage of “a long-term supercycle for coal,” driven by rapidly growing demand in Asia. (The company keeps a fast-moving ticker on its Web site tracking coal sales at roughly 8 tons a second or so.) This is how his talk was described in a company news release…

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