[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ USGS: Are Reserves of the Largest US Coal Field Overstated by 50%?



-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <Anne.Woiwode@sierraclub.org>
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Often ignored reality that coal has limits too:


http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/theoildrum/~3/Jop8qZd_r34/5122 

Are Reserves of the Largest US Coal Field Overstated by 50%?
 via The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future by Rembrandt on
 2/24/09

 United States coal reserves are taking a beating in a new examination by
 the USGS of recoverable reserves of Gilette in Wyoming, the largest field
 in the US with 37% of total coal production in 2006. Its present reserves
 have been downgraded by half thanks to an improved methodology which
 incorporates a new dataset with ten times as many datapoints as used in
 the previous assessment. Of 182 billion metric tonnes of resource in
 place, 9.16 billion (6% of original resource total) were found to be
 recoverable under "current technological and economic circumstances". This
 compares to an earlier assessment from 2002 by the USGS in which 20.87
 billion metric tons were estimated to be recoverable.

 The one catch is that the term "present economic circumstances" depends
 very much on the price of coal. If the price of coal increases
 significantly, the newly estimated reserve level of 9.16 billion metric
 tons can be expected to increase, perhaps several-fold. 

-SNIP-

 The new USGS assessment does show that the statement made by the US
 National Academy of Science two years ago, that US coal reserves are
 likely overstated, should be taken seriously. The National Academy of
 Science concluded at that time that coal recoverability estimates are
 based on outdated assessment methods--these methods have not been reviewed
 or revised since 1974 and primarily reflect input data from the early
 1970s.

-SNIP-




==============================================================
ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"
==============================================================
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
All views and opinions presented above are solely those of the author or
attributed source and do not necessarily reflect those of GLIN or the Great Lakes Commission.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *