Restoration & Reclamation. Making graphite from coal. Polar vortex energy policy

In News by wp_sysadmin

News of the Day: From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

BARRASSO TO ENERGY NOMINEES…DON’T FORGET FOSSIL FUELS: Sen. John Barrasso, the incoming top Republican of the Energy Committee, said yesterday he had phone calls with Biden’s nominees to lead the Energy and Interior Departments, in which he stressed his preference for an “all of the above” approach that includes fossil fuels, as well as renewables and nuclear.

Barrasso won’t wield the same power as he would have had he chaired the Energy committee if Republicans kept the Senate. But the Democratic chairman, coal state Sen. Joe Manchin, is likely to also have questions for Biden’s nominees for Energy and Interior secretaries, Jennifer Granholm, and Deb Haaland, about the role of fossil fuels in the administration’s decarbonization plans.

“I want to expand America’s energy dominance, while promoting environmental innovation. We must do both,” Barrasso said in the readout of his call with Granholm.

The Wyoming Republican told Haaland, who is expected to implement Biden’s proposed ban on new oil and gas drilling on federal lands, that “energy development on our nation’s public lands is essential to Wyoming’s economy and America’s global energy dominance.”


Oil Hits 10-Month High as Dollar Drops
Saket Sundria, Alex Longley, Bloomberg, January 12, 2021

 Oil in New York climbed to a new 10-month high as the dollar declined, increasing the appeal of commodities priced in the currency.

Futures rose 1.5% to above $53 a barrel, to the highest since February 2020. Prices have climbed in recent days after promises of unilateral output cuts from Saudi Arabia spurred a further rally.

Oil has surged more than 45% since the end of October, boosted by Covid-19 vaccine breakthroughs and commitments from OPEC and its allies to curb oil output. Recent Democrat victories in U.S. elections have also spurred expectations of economic stimulus, while commodity index rebalancing is also expected to buoy prices this week.

“Oil prices are rising again after a brief timeout,” said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank AG. “On the demand side, hopes of economic recovery and the massive fiscal stimuli being taken by governments are lending support.”


Global LNG Shortage All But Guarantees Tight U.S. Natural Gas Storage For The Rest Of 2021
Seeking Alpha, January 11, 2021


  • Global LNG prices are surging with Asia pricing going through the roof. The SSW event is hitting Asia and Europe first.
  • One of the biggest impediments to bullish US LNG fundamentals for 2021 was the potential decrease in LNG exports from rising prices plus surplus in global LNG market.
  • But with the world now potentially facing a LNG shortage, the risk of US LNG exports falling over the summer months seem very low, which means balances will be very tight.
  • IHS pegs peak US natural gas storage at 2.6 Tcf if US LNG exports remain at ~11 Bcf/d through the injection months. This will be the lowest LNG storage going into a winter ever, so prices will reflect this sentiment.


Resolution Copper completes $75 million restoration of historic mining land
KOLD News 13 Staff, January 11, 2021

Resolution Copper has completed a $75 million restoration and reclamation project of 475 acres of land affected by close to a century of historic impacts from the Magma Copper Mine near the town of Superior.

Resolution Copper voluntarily committed to accelerate the reclamation work to demonstrate its commitment to cleaning up the historic mining impacts well in advance of any new mine development activities.

Resolution Copper Project Director Andrew Lye said, “We’re proud to deliver this significant piece of environmental remediation work decades earlier than required, to make our community a cleaner and safer place to live and work. Cleaning up the historic Magma Copper Mine ahead of time demonstrates our commitment to operating safely and responsibly, in a way that brings lasting benefits to the entire community. This work was completed by local contractors and ongoing post closure monitoring and maintenance activities will continue to provide local jobs as an important part of our business.”


The Biden Administration And Energy Part I – Domestic Policy
Daniel Markind, Forbes, January 12, 2021

When President Biden takes office on January 20, among the many other obstacles, issues and problems that he will need to deal with is an impending polar vortex that meteorologists now predict will descend upon the United States starting in mid-January. At the same time, Mr. Biden will also assume responsibility for fighting the continuing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Dealing with both natural disasters will require enormous amounts of energy. It will be President Biden’s job to make sure that energy is provided to those who need it, and to do so he will need to use all of the resources available to him.

The immediate concern will be ensuring that areas that have actively prevented fossil fuel production, distribution, or both, are able to maintain sufficient power to fight the cold and the virus. Chief among those areas will be the New York metropolitan area and New England.

The last time a polar vortex hit this country hard, in 2018, these same areas were forced to import natural gas and oil from Russia. That may happen again, especially given New York State’s all-out assault not just on fracking but on natural gas pipelines as well.  


UW research team microwaves coal powder, turns it into nano-graphite
Jonathan Gallardo, Wyoming News Exchange & Rocket Miner. Com, January 11, 2021

A research team at the University of Wyoming has found a way to use a microwave to turn coal into graphite.

Using copper foil, glass containers and a conventional household microwave oven, UW researchers have demonstrated that pulverized coal powder can be converted into higher-value nano-graphite.

“This method provides a new route to convert abundant carbon sources to high-value materials with ecological and economic benefits,” the research team wrote.

Nano-graphite is used as a lubricant and other items like fire extinguishers and lithium-ion batteries.

Previous research has shown that microwaves can be used to reduce the moisture content of coal and remove sulfur and other minerals, but most such methods require specific chemical pre-treatment of the coal, according to a press release from UW.

In the UW experiment, researchers ground Powder River Basin coal into a powder and microwaved it with copper foil.

The research team was led by TeYu Chien, an associate professor in UW’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. Chien said the experiment was inspired by one sentence in one paper where researchers who were microwaving graphene oxide saw a spark when they didn’t use any metal.