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1. Japan to expand use of coal

According to, Japan is dramatically expanding its use of coal to generate electricity. The news source states that:

Japan has 43 coal power projects either under construction or planned, representing combined capacity of 21,200 megawatts, according to a statement from the Kyoto-based Kiko Network.

Of course, the thrust of the article is that expanding use of coal will make it difficult for Japan to meet CO2 reduction targets — targets which, if met, allegedly would reduce global temperatures by an unspecified amount by some unspecified date in the future.

What the article does not point out is that the reason for expanding coal is that it is a low cost and reliable approach to electricity generation with plentiful supplies. In other words, what Japan would like to do in the coming years is what China is currently doing.

2. China to cut electricity costs — pass along saving from coal

Bloomberg in a separate article:

The wholesale charges will fall by an average of 0.02 yuan per kilowatt-hour, the State Council said in a statement, without saying when the change would take effect. Retail prices for commercial and industrial users will decline by 0.018 yuan per kilowatt-hour, it said.

What is interesting is that the pollution concern from coal in China as discussed in this article is not about CO2 emissions but about real pollution problems caused by coal — namely smog and particulates. These are problems that have been largely conquered in most of the US and certainly in North Carolina through the use of pollution standards and control devices that are not in place in China. What the US has shown is that it is quite possible to expand the use of low cost coal while reducing these unhealthy pollutants.

As noted in the article "The aim is to lower operating costs for businesses and promote economic growth." Yes, lower energy costs promote growth.

What is interesting to see is that Japan and China are both recognizing the importance of low cost energy for the economic wellbeing of their citizens, while in the US and North Carolina in particular, politicians of both parties continue to mandate the use of expensive energy sources like solar and wind power and further subsidize their use with generous tax breaks.

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