A coal mine expands

Flying in the face of President Obama’s threat that building a new coal-fired power plant will cause bankruptcy, a coal mine in Benwood, WV is expanding. This is one lump of coal in my Christmas stocking that I can welcome.

The Times Leader of Wheeling reports:

The dust flying in Center Benwood signals increased coal production at Murray Energy's Ohio County Mine - and a $45 million expansion at the mine's preparation plant to accommodate it.

A new coal processing facility is being constructed at the site that will improve the operation's efficiency and coal processing capacities, according to Murray spokesman Gary Broadbent.

"This upgrade will allow the plant to process up to 1,800 tons per hour - a 38-percent increase from the current feed rate," Broadbent said. "The cost of the project is approximately $45 million, and we expect the new module to be fully operational in May of 2015."

Not that many years ago, this expansion barely would have been noteworthy outside the coal industry. But in the face of a concerted campaign to demonize coal on the basis of the alleged dangers of CO2, this almost seems like an act of brave defiance.

Hat tip: Bryan Demko