I am shocked at some of the content of "Old School Coal is Making a Comeback" from April 17 being passed off as news. Comments like "the global outlook for coal is bright" belong in the editorial section. I believe no global outlook involving ongoing or increasing use of coal is bright except in the narrow sense that there may be more coal actively on fire.
Coal-generated electricity went from 50 percent of total energy in 2008 to 37 percent in 2012. A 4 percent increase pales next to the overall trend. A third of U.S. plants are slated for retirement (including Washington's sole remaining plant) or are closed. No new plants will be opening. China is significantly curbing coal use.
It is old news that there is no new money to be made in coal. To paint a different picture through ignorance or misinformation directly is harmful. As coal use drops in the U.S. (certainly not a comeback), distributors' only option is to export. I believe exports will be shipped through our backyard and are burned in an area that blows right back to the Pacific Northwest with no benefit to our local economy.
If you want to cover real news, I recommend the student-led divestment efforts at WWU or local green energy companies creating jobs like Western Solar or Itek.
We should be doing everything we can to end our use of coal, building clean energy and jobs and creating a future to be proud of.