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Let’s Check in on How Coal’s Doing During the Pandemic

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Coal in precarious places.
Coal in precarious places.
Photo: George Frey/AFP (Getty Images)

Big Oil has hogged the spotlight of fossil fuels in decline since the coronavirus pandemic began. Which, sure, it’s news that some of the richest companies on Earth have floundered once everyone decided to stay home.

But we’re big believers in equal opportunity here at Earther so let’s take a look at what’s going on with the largest coal company in the US: Peabody Energy. It reported quarterly earnings on Wednesday and dear lord are they bad.

The company ate a record loss of $1.54 billion and wrote down the value of its largest mine by $1.42 billion. Those are very large numbers that do not bode well for Peabody’s future success.

But then, the coal giant has been flailing for years. Despite digging up about a fifth of all coal in the US and having massive operations overseas, Peabody has still been bent over backwards by the economics of coal. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2016 and has been trying to climb out of an ever-deepening financial hole for long before that.

Cheap natural gas sparked the decline in coal demand, and renewables drove it down even further. The ensuing rash of coal plant closures left companies like Peabody holding the bag. Oh, and activists have been hammering the coal industry for its role in polluting the atmosphere, treating workers like shit, and funding climate denial.

“Peabody is facing three key pressure points,” Mary Anne Hitt, the national director of campaigns at the Sierra Club, told Earther in an email. “Existing coal plants keep retiring and we aren’t building new ones, renewable energy is now cheaper than coal, and the public is demanding clean energy that doesn’t harm our health and our climate. The pandemic has put health concerns front and center, and the public is demanding clean forms of energy that don’t harm public health.”

Now, the pandemic has basically compounded the woes of an already dying industry in the US. Rob Jackson, the chair of the Global Carbon Project, told the Guardian back in May that the coal would “never recover” after the pandemic, as market forces continue to work against it. A similar saga is playing out with oil and gas, but coal already had a head start on its road to total failure even before the pandemic hit.

Even as it falls into obsolescence in the US, there are signs the pandemic may not be game over for coal globally. India—the second largest coal producer in the world—began the pandemic by continuing to approve coal mines at a breakneck pace. The #1 coal producer, China, has seen air pollution rocket back above pre-pandemic levels, likely driven by coal demand. The Trump administration and Republicans may try to protect the industry and its dwindling profits—or at least cover its losses long enough to help CEOs escape with golden parachutes—by introducing liability protections in the next relief package for companies deemed “essential.” Fossil fuels are trying to weasel their way into a deal that would essentially make them immune to lawsuits should workers contract coronavirus on the job in the notoriously cramped quarters of coal mines, oil rigs, and the man camps that spring up around pipelines—a subject Drilled News has a terrific primer on. The respiratory problems associated with coal mining, including black lung, also increase the risk of covid-related complications.

“What actually is essential is that we support a fair and robust transition for affected workers and coal communities, and that we’re honest about our energy future,” Hitt wrote. “The decline of the coal industry and the rise of clean energy jobs is vital to the protection of our air, water, and climate… Instead of a bailout to prop up a failing industry, federal officials should be sure every former coal worker, and retiree, is secure, and that we honor their decades of hard work to power our country.”

Source : Gizmodo Read More

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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