Monday, February 18, 2008
Coal and China
"China is doing for coal what it once did for oil: pushing prices to new highs, adding more pressure to the creaking global economy. ... China's need for coal is rising as other factors around the world are putting severe strain on supply for the fossil fuel. ... Demand is rising quickly elsewhere. Japan ... is burning even more coal since an earthquake damaged a nuclear reactor last year. ... Indonesia has been moving over the past year or so to divert more of its coal stores to domestic use, as the coal industry there has been depleting its higher-quality coal reserves. ... The China-driven coal boom has pushed up wages and created more jobs for U.S. miners as well as port and rail workers--a twist on recent trends moving industrial jobs from the U.S. to China. ... Chinese coal demand grew nearly 9% last year, raising its share to a quarter of the world's consumption. ... Coal was assumed by many in the energy industry to be immune to worries about the stability of supply that have helped push oil to record highs. ... Beijing began closing coal mines in 2005 to address a horrific safety record. ... But China was also adding hundreds of new coal-fired power stations", WSJ, 12 February 2008.
The US economy is coming to more closely resemble that of a third world country daily as agricultural products and natural resources are among the few things the US is capable of exporting.