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Tag Archives: Coal

Getting Real About Coal and Climate

“Change is coming, whether we seek it or not.” So declares a remarkable document titled “Preserving Coal Country,” released Monday by the United Mine Workers of America, in which the union — which at its peak represented half a million workers — accepts the reality that coal isn’t coming back. Instead, it argues, the goal should be “a true energy transition that will enhance opportunities for miners, their families and their communities.”It’s good to see this kind of realism. Remember,...

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Krugman Wonks Out: The China Shock and the Climate Shock

This article is a wonky edition of Paul Krugman’s free newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it.Today’s column was focused on the remarkable announcement by the United Mine Workers that the union is ready to support the Biden infrastructure plan — if that plan helps miners and mining communities transition out of coal. This looks like a vindication of the “Green New Deal” approach to climate policy, even if Biden isn’t calling it that. That is, it suggests that an approach that...

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Buy (or Rent) Coal! The Coasean Climate Change Policy

Since climate change and what to do about it are in the news it’s time to re-up an underrated idea, buy coal! Carbon taxes increase the price of carbon and induce economic and technological substitution towards lower-carbon sources of fuel in the countries that adopt them. As carbon-tax countries reduce fuel use, however, non carbon-tax countries see the price of their fuel decline. Thus, unless all countries join the tax-coalition, there is leakage. Supply-side policies are an...

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Long-term Job Decline in US Manufacturing

Nov. 10, 2017 — What does international trade have to do with US jobs?  Surely the US trade deficit in manufacturing has reduced employment?  Not as much as you would think, on net.  Especially with regard to overall employment, which in the long run is determined by the size of the labor force.  But even if manufacturing jobs are considered more important than service jobs, trade policy has not been the main reason for their decline.  Perhaps the raw statistics can be made more...

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Dirt, rocks, and sunshine: the story of Australia’s external balance

Australia has handled the commodity bust surprisingly well — so far, anyway. We’ve already looked at how a strong job market and a housing boom have helped offset some of the pain from cuts in mining capex. Now we’re going to focus more on changes in the external balance, which has helped push the growth rate in total output significantly above domestic demand: Australia’s biggest exports are dirt and rocks, which for our purposes mostly means “metalliferous ores and metal scrap” (iron ore)...

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