China Coal Story All About Protecting the Grift!

China Coal Story All About Protecting the Grift!

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Reuters, the international news company, published a very silly story suggesting China was helping the climate (which needs no help) by building coal plants. Why?

Our friend Ed Ireland has a wonderful post on his “Thoughts About Energy and Economics” regarding China and how the climate cult is deliberately averting its eyes from what CCP is doing in building ever more coal plants. I encourage all to read it as it shows China is totally ignoring the cult behind the scenes while it pretends to be an ally for the press. One has to grudgingly admire the CCP for the boldness of its big lie strategy because the real villain here is an institutional media that has been corrupted beyond belief.

Yes, we are, with the Reuters article Ed quotes, now officially living in the world of “newspeak,” defined by Merriam-Webster as: “propagandistic language marked by euphemism, circumlocution, and the inversion of customary meanings.” It is a prime example of a bankrupt media whose principal interest is advancing a politically correct and financially rewarding narrative on behalf of a ruling class of elites.

The author of the piece is Clyde Russell and he goes to great lengths to make a spurious argument on behalf of China that its coal plants and “New Energy Vehicles” or NEVs are apparently better for the environment than those terrible coal plants in the U.S. and those atrocious pickup trucks and SUVs that Americans drive. Here is the basic fraudulent argument under the nonetheless appropriate sub-heading of “Coal Cars” if you can believe it (emphasis added):

The question is then whether China can meet its climate goals by switching increasingly to NEVs, which will be powered by a coal-heavy electricity grid for decades to come.

China used coal for about 63% of its electricity generation in 2022, with hydropower coming in second at 14%, and other renewable energies such as wind generating 9% and solar 5%.

China is also the world’s biggest installer of renewable power sources and is expanding its nuclear fleet as well, but coal is expected to remain the bedrock of electricity production, even as its share of generation gradually decreases.

But even using a predominantly coal-fired grid to charge NEVs is better from a climate perspective, insofar as an electric vehicle powered by a 60% coal-fired grid will produce lower lifecycle emissions that a similar ICE vehicle.

A model developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory shows that in a country with China’s power generation profile, a battery electric vehicle will have to drive 78,700 miles (125,900 km) before being cleaner than an ICE equivalent.

However, the average car will drive about 170,000 miles in its lifespan, meaning that the electric vehicle ends up being better for emissions than the ICE equivalent, even if powered by a predominantly coal-fired grid.

While it would obviously be better for the environment for China to stop building coal-fired power plants and instead accelerate the deployment of renewables, there is some logic to the current policy.

Using mainly domestic coal and some relatively low-cost imports will allow China to lower crude oil imports over time, increase the penetration of NEVs and have a lower emissions profile than if it carried on with a predominantly ICE vehicle fleet.

Let’s dissect this a bit. First, note the use of the weasel term “predominately’ three times in 285 words. What is a “predominantly coal-fired grid” anyway? Is it 63% of electricity as it was in 2020 or 80% as it is likely to be in the not too distant future or some imaginary projected plurality of the total? It makes a huge difference because the more nuclear in the mix, for example, the less impact from coal cars, irrespective of NEV market penetration.

Secondly, why is a “New Energy Vehicle” or NEV? Well, here’s one trendy definition:

An alternative energy vehicle. A vehicle which is fueled by an uncommon energy source, as compared to the vast marketplace of conventionally fueled vehicles, as of the turn of the 21st century.

Notice how “new” becomes “alternative,” a meaningless difference when the only contrast offered is between “uncommon” and “conventional” fuels. It’s all pure mush, in other words and a NEV could be a CNG or LNG vehicle, a hybrid or perhaps even this:


Uncommon and Unconventional?

We’re also told “using mainly domestic coal and some relatively low-cost imports will allow China to lower crude oil imports over time.” What, exactly, is meant by this statement? What relatively low-cost imports are we talking about? Natural gas in the form of LNG, for example? If so, that would give a much different color to the conclusions wouldn’t it? But, we’re not told why the writer is using that vague term. Also, if China is expected to use mainly (another vague obfuscatory term) domestic coal, why is the American coal industry doing so well exporting to China? Is there realistic at all about this assumption.

Then, there is the matter of the cited research from the Argonne National Laboratory. The writer says the Laboratory has developed a model suggesting, based on “China’s power generation profile,” that a battery electric vehicle will only have to “drive 78,700 miles (125,900 km) before being cleaner than an ICE equivalent.” I searched the Lab’s site to see if I could find the model, but couldn’t find it and learn what the assumptions were that went into it, but notice it is dependent on the energy profile today. What happens if that profile is based on more and not less on coal in the future?

We aren’t told because the hope of the author and the ruling class base of elitist grifters is to convince the public at large to be happy and not worry about China so the facts never intrude on the great climate grift here at home and in Europe. Need proof? I just received two unsolicited emails from Reuters inviting me to attend one of their events called “Energy Transition Europe 2023.” It will take place in London in November, so I won’t be attending but check it out the messaging (emphasis added):

Hi ,

As an energy executive, you face the ultimate challenge of management delivering on net zero goals, adapting to public sector reforms, and reshaping your strategy to provide new low-carbon energy. Amidst critical climate targets and an upended energy mix, are you preparing your organisation to lead through $5 trillion transition opportunity in Europe?

Secure your place to unleash the full spectrum of energy transition opportunities!

In November, we accelerate away from market turbulence and secure $5 trillion worth of European energy transition opportunities

We have telling readers for quite some time that it’s all the money—the trillions of grift to be had off the backs, consumers, ratepayers and taxpayers. The climate cult of true believers and the ideology are no more than a coat of paint and a tool with which to manipulate the naive shills to do the dirty work necessary to get policymakers to give a “fuggedaboutit”to the truth of what’s happening in China and with the Green New Deal. Reuters and the rest of the major media are simply in on it.

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