Carl Pope  says:

  • Abundant, cheap fossil-fuel energy – that created the modern consumer economies of the U.S., Europe, Russia, Australia and Japan – is not viable in the 21st century due to cost.
  • Coal is geologically more abundant than oil, but cheap coal, close to population centers, is not. Powder River Basin coal costs $12 a ton to mine and $60 a ton to ship, Inner Mongolia coal costs $25 a ton to mine but rises to more than $125 a ton at its destination.
  • Shipping coal is more difficult and more expensive than shipping oil.
  • India and China have some of the world’s largest coal reserves and are the fastest-growing global coal markets. But most of their coal is distant from their booming coastal regions. For China and India, coal at $120 a ton is now considered cheap.
  • Indonesia will impose a tax on coal exports, leading to an actual ban in 2014, creating a power crisis for China and India.
  • Oil is too expensive to power Asia’s growing electricity demand.

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