"American Jobs Plan", 2020 Republican Covid Relief bill, acid mine drainage, Agrium Inc, Battle Mountain gold, Bernie Sanders, Biden, Bob Schumer, capping oil and gas wells, Chuck Schumer, clean water, coal, Coal Mine, Elliott Management, environmental remediation, EPA, Gold Mining, Hess oil, infrastructure, innovation, innovative clean-up, mining clean-up, mining subisidies, mining waste, Newmont mining, oil and gas, oil and gas wells, potash, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, rare earth elements, REE, Schumer judicial selection committee, Trump, Walter Energy, water, water purification, Western Coal
Biden’s proposal is a huge subsidy ($16 billion) to the oil and gas industry, as well as to the often foreign owned mining industry, masquerading as infrastructure.
Carol Stoker, NASA – ACD03-0051-13 Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Rio Tinto Spain
Last fall Republicans were proposing additional funding for an innovative mining clean-up project and were demonized by Schumer, Bernie Sanders and the media. Last year, under Trump, the US EPA stated: “NETL-supported research to secure a domestic supply of rare earth elements (REEs) shows economic potential regarding efficiency and cost savings and progresses along the pathway to commercial viability… A notable example is coal acid mine drainage (AMD) and sludge originating from abandoned or still operating mines. NETL and its partners are making progress refining a method to clean up AMD [Acid Mine Drainage] and extract the vital REEs needed for the U.S. economy to stay competitive on the global market while providing environmental remediation.” (March 2020) https://www.energy.gov/fe/articles/new-ree-extraction-tests-show-promise-efficiency-cost-savings That certainly sounds like a genius idea, but Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders and their media lackeys portrayed it as a big coal subsidy, even though this project would help the cleanup of abandoned coal mines, while generating revenue to help pay the cost of clean-up. There is no description of Biden’s mining clean-up plan, so it is apparently traditional cleanup, which is incomplete and/or costly.
The Trump Administration opened an EPA office to deal with mining cleanup, but was not given credit for this: “Trump EPA Launches Office of Mountains, Deserts and Plains to Effectively Address Abandoned Mine Lands, Accelerate Cleanup Across the West” 09/02/2020 https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/trump-epa-launches-office-mountains-deserts-and-plains-effectively-address-abandoned https://archive.is/VJJzq
Republicans proposed additional funding for the innovative cleanup project to extract rare earth elements from the acid mine drainage from the many abandoned coal mines, as part of their 2020 Covid relief bill. The US is largely dependent upon China for rare earth elements, which are needed for many things, including medical equipment. Acid mine drainage is a huge problem and cost from mining, and extracting rare earth elements would both help clean-up and pay for clean-up.
The Dems, especially Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders, and the media, misled the public on the contents of the Republican Covid relief bill, last fall, calling the cleanup funding a subsidy to the coal industry.
Hypocritical Senator Chuck Schumer’s brother, Robert “Bob” Schumer, has represented coal, potash, and gold mining companies, as well as serving on his brother Chuck Schumer’s Judicial Selection Committee.
In particular, Bob Schumer has represented Western Coal’s acquisition of Walter Energy for ca $3.2 billion; behemoth Newmont Mining Corporation’s acquisition of Battle Mountain Gold Company; the merger of Agrium Inc. and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc., which created “an integrated global supplier of crop inputs with an enterprise value of approximately $36 billion”. https://web.archive.org/web/20200623092316/https://www.paulweiss.com/professionals/partners-and-counsel/robert-b-schumer https://archive.vn/5VyeG Prior to 2015, Schumer worked for Elliott management, including in relation to oil and gas producer Hess Corporation. https://archive.vn/E8bDI
Now Biden included mining clean-up in his so-called “American Jobs Plan“/so-called “infrastructure” plan. With no description, it is probably traditional mining “cleanup”, which is costly and often largely ineffective, or worse. The big cost of cleanup is ongoing water purification needed because of acid mine drainage. It’s not enough to hire people with bulldozers to push soil around and plant grass over the problem. And, only certain types of plants will grow in acid soil.
Biden’s proposal is a mega-subsidy to the mining and oil & gas industry, and seems to lack the innovative aspect, which would be a true clean-up and pay for itself over time. Many – maybe most – hard-rock mining companies are foreign owned, so why aren’t they paying taxes for historic clean-up, as well as bonding for future cleanup? They aren’t even charged federal severance taxes, only a small permit fee.
The value of a dollar in 1994 is like $1.80 today.
Cost of Acid Mine drainage cleanup ca 1994. (The costs are probably from 1993 or 94 for a 1995 book).
Mining companies need to pay federal severance tax/royalties, like in other countries, and pay larger up-front surety bonds. They should not be allowed to self-bond, in case they declare bankruptcy. The State or Federal government can add an extra tax to the mining companies for clean-up of abandoned mines, like West Germans have paid extra high tax to integrate East Germany for several decades.
Biden’s proposal is a huge subsidy ($16 billion) to the oil and gas industry, as well as to the mining industry. They need to make the oil-gas and mining companies pay for remediation in the event of abandonment up front (bond) and pay an additional tax for remediation of old wells, rather than burdening the general taxpayer and/or printing and devaluing the US dollar. NPR says regarding orphaned wells: “The well in question is known as an “orphaned well.” When oil and gas companies go bankrupt or stop taking care of their equipment, their wells fall into the state’s hands. Thus, the term “orphaned.” See: “Cleaning Up Abandoned Wells Proves Costly To Gas And Oil Producing States” By Matt Bloom Friday, September 6, 2019 • 4:23 PM EDT https://text.npr.org/758284873
His proposal is very inadequate, since in 2004, the estimated cost of cleanup of hardrock mining sites, alone, was $54 billion, which is approximately $77 billion in 2021. https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm
Of course, Biden-Harris-Pelosi-Schumer-Sanders are apparently only interested in spending money and not interested in how to pay for it. Either they are idiots or their goal is to force the United States into bankruptcy. Tax the rich isn’t enough money, plus the rich will simply move abroad, as will corporations. Already almost half of the country doesn’t pay income tax, because either they are too poor or find tax write-offs. Ask people from Sarajevo-Yugoslavia: Life was good while they were getting loans, but when the debt had to be paid, things got very ugly with the country descending into civil war.
Biden “proposal”in his so-called jobs-infrastructure plan: “Hundreds of thousands of former orphan oil and gas wells and abandoned mines pose serious safety hazards, while also causing ongoing air, water, and other environmental damage. Many of these old wells and mines are located in rural communities that have suffered from years of disinvestment. President Biden’s plan includes an immediate up-front investment of $16 billion that will put hundreds of thousands to work in union jobs plugging oil and gas wells and restoring and reclaiming abandoned coal, hardrock, and uranium mines. In addition to creating good jobs in hard-hit communities, this investment will reduce the methane and brine that leaks from these wells, just as we invest in reducing leaks from other sources like aging pipes and distribution systems.” https://archive.is/Tb1ln
Estimated cost of cleanup of Hardrock mining sites, alone, was $54 billion in 2004 , which is approximately $77 billion in 2021 https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm
According to the US EPA (2004) “The most promising estimates indicate that about 8,000-31,000 abandoned mine sites pose a significant risk to the environment and human health. The estimated cost for hardrock mining sites alone is $20-54 billion. “Office of Solid Waste EPA 542-R-04-015 And Emergency Response September 2004” (5102G) http://www.epa.gov/tio clu-in.org/marketstudy, Cleaning Up the Nation’s Waste Sites: Markets and Technology Trends, 2004 Edition. https://archive.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/web/pdf/2004market.pdf
Abandoned Mine Clean-up: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/2000_08_pdfs_amscch.pdf
As reported by NPR, the Republican Covid-19 bill, last fall, was not only far cheaper, but “included more money for a popular small-business loan program, a scaled-back version of an expanded unemployment benefit, funding for schools and the U.S. Postal Service, and liability lawsuit protections for businesses, schools and health care providers.” https://text.npr.org/s.php?sId=911414284
So, even NPR, which most often appears like a propaganda organ for the Dem Party, admitted that the much maligned Republican Covid-19 relief bill from last fall was superior, as well as cheaper.
“With its dedicated Rare Earth Extraction Facility on the West Virginia University (WVU) campus supported by the National Energy Tech Lab (NETL), researchers at the West Virginia University (WVU) Research Corporation, aided by its partnership with West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, have applied for a patent and a new project for a pilot-scale REE separation facility has begun”. https://www.netl.doe.gov/node/9620
Schumer totally distorts-lies about this, and no one calls him out:
“Senate GOP offers scaled-back coronavirus bill” https://youtu.be/NA6-49jdpH0
Rare Earth Elements were relevant to the Covid-19 bill, because most US rare earth metals come from China. “The use of rare earths is vast and varied, spanning national defence to consumer goods. They are used in healthcare, including for surgical supplies, pacemakers, cancer treatment drugs…” https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/may/29/us-china-trade-what-are-rare-earth-metals-and-whats-the-dispute
Selling the rare earth metals could pay for the necessary long-term and high cost care of old mines, while cleaning them up.
“Water in mined areas generally has high concentrations of dissolved solids because of increased contact between the water and subsurface minerals. Where the sulfur content of the rocks is high enough, as is more common in the northern part of the State, the water becomes acidic and may contain undesirable concentrations of metals. The West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) reports that acid mine drainage has affected at least 484 streams for a total of 2,852 stream miles. A recent USGS assessment of potential mineral deposits included a map that shows the distribution of acid stream water. In some rivers, acid drainage kills all living creatures; in others, fish are able to live for a few weeks or months but are unable to reproduce.” https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/FS-049-96/
National Energy Tech Lab (NETL):
“March 20, 2020
NETL-supported research to secure a domestic supply of rare earth elements (REEs) shows economic potential regarding efficiency and cost savings and progresses along the pathway to commercial viability.
The Lab has funded and supported multiple projects across the nation to extract REEs from coal and coal-related byproducts. A notable example is coal acid mine drainage (AMD) and sludge originating from abandoned or still operating mines.
However, NETL and its partners are making progress refining a method to clean up AMD in order to extract the vital REEs needed for the U.S. economy to stay competitive on the global market while providing environmental remediation.
This sludge is enriched in REEs and contains an average total REE content several times higher than raw, untreated AMD. However, separating the valuable REEs can be very expensive.
With its dedicated Rare Earth Extraction Facility on campus supported by NETL, researchers at the West Virginia University (WVU) Research Corporation, aided by its partnership with West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, may have solved this problem. They evaluated the potential of precipitating (that is, causing solid constituents to be physically separated out) REEs upstream of the AMD treatment stage.
The WVU team evaluated extracting REEs from acidic AMD and net-alkaline AMD streams using electro-membrane extraction and other methods, and the precipitates (solids) from this concentration method were then further processed. Their results showed that although the total REE concentration in raw AMD is significantly lower than AMD sludge, target REE oxide purity levels ranging from 60 percent to 98 percent from acidic AMD could be achieved.
An analysis compared the two potential REE production scenarios (i.e., from the AMD sludge and from the upstream, raw AMD REE concentration process developed in this project). The results showed that the upstream concentrator increases the grade of the REE feedstock, reduces acid demand, and reduces processing costs.
The techniques tested at WVU showed that nearly 100 percent of all the REEs in the raw AMD or sludge can be recovered, a significant development toward realizing commercialization.
“By utilizing the naturally-acidic, raw AMD instead of AMD sludge, target REE oxide purities can be recovered while lowering the costs of extracting them,” explained NETL Project Manager Jessica Mullen. “This is a significant step forward to encourage further investment and to show that a domestic supply of rare earth elements is feasible.”
Several presentations have been made at professional meetings, a patent application was generated, and a new project for a pilot-scale REE separation facility has begun.
“The outcomes of this project have demonstrated enough viability to warrant further research,” Mullen said. “Given enough time, acid mine drainage and the promise of harvesting its rare earth elements could present tremendous opportunity. You might one day see a new industry dedicated to the dual task of environmental cleanup and extracting these valuable minerals.” https://www.netl.doe.gov/node/9620
Below is the section on rare earth technologies in the Republican proposed Covid relief bill (2020). It seems to have been to guarantee continued funding of the program and to expand funding. This may have allowed clean-up prototypes at multiple sites:
“SEC. 10002. RARE EARTH ELEMENT ADVANCED COAL TECHNOLOGIES.
(a) Program for Extraction and Recovery of Rare Earth
Elements and Minerals From Coal and Coal Byproducts.–
(1) In general.–The Secretary of Energy, acting through
the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy (referred to in
this section as the “Secretary”), shall carry out a program
under which the Secretary shall develop advanced separation
technologies for the extraction and recovery of rare earth
elements and minerals from coal and coal byproducts.
(2) Authorization of appropriations.–There is authorized
to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the program
described in paragraph (1) $23,000,000 for each of fiscal
years 2021 through 2028.
(b) Report.–Not later than 1 year after the date of
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and
the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of
Representatives a report evaluating the development of
advanced separation technologies for the extraction and
recovery of rare earth elements and minerals from coal and
coal byproducts, including acid mine drainage from coal
News Release from 2017:
“DOE Announces Nine New Projects to Advance Technology Development for the Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Coal and Coal By-products SEPTEMBER 28, 2017
DOE Announces Nine New Projects to Advance Technology Development for the Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Coal and Coal By-products
The Department of Energy (DOE) today announced nine projects to receive approximately $4 million in cost-shared federal funding to improve the technical, environmental, and economic performance of new and existing technologies that extract, separate, and recover rare earth elements (REEs) from domestic U.S. coal and coal by-products.
The selected research projects will further the goals of DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy’s Rare Earth Elements Program by focusing on the development of cost-effective and environmentally benign approaches for the recovery of REEs from domestic coal and coal by-products. https://www.netl.doe.gov/research/coal/rare-earth-elements
“The development of an economically competitive supply of REEs will help to maintain the nation’s economic growth and national security. Our vast domestic coal resources contain quantities of REEs that offer the potential to reduce our dependence on others for these critical materials and create new industries in regions where coal plays an important economic role.
The new projects will be managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory and are supported through the funding opportunity announcement, Development of Transformational Separation and Extraction Processes for Production of Rare Earth Element (REE) Materials from Domestic U.S. Coal and Coal By-Products.
Selected projects fall under three Areas of Interest.
Area of Interest 1—Advanced, Novel Technology Development for Initial REE Extraction, Concentrating to ≥ 2 Weight Percent
* Concentrating Rare Earth Elements in Acid Mine Drainage using Coal Combustion By-Products— The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) will collaborate with state agencies to carry out field investigation aimed to screen and evaluate the seasonal changes of rare earths for acid mine drainage discharges that have high recovery potential. The team will ultimately concentrate the rare earths using a highly selective sequential extraction procedure.
DOE Funding: $399,967; Non-DOE Funding: $145,985; Total Funding: $545,952
* Low-Cost Rare Earth Element (REE) Recovery from Acid Mine Drainage Sludge— Research Triangle Institute (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) plans to use a staged, membrane-based treatment approach to separate, concentrate, and ultimately recover REEs from acid mine drainage (AMD) sludge that will take place over an 18-month performance period.
DOE Funding: $400,000; Non-DOE Funding: $100,000; Total Funding: $500,000
* Low-Temperature Plasma Treatment for Enhanced Recovery of Highly Valued Critical REEs from Coal— University of Kentucky Research Foundation (Lexington, Kentucky) will evaluate the mineralogy, leachability and the effect of plasma pretreatment for the various segments of selected feed stocks containing greater than 300 ppm of total REEs on a dry, whole mass basis.
DOE Funding: $322,352; Non-DOE Funding: $82,617; Total Funding: $404,969
* Economic Extraction and Recovery of REEs and Production of Clean Value-Added Products from Low-Rank Coal Fly Ash— The University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, North Dakota) will collect ash samples and perform characterizations that will be used to inform the development of extraction and concentration approaches. The project will also evaluate a novel method of value-added beneficiation of the clean fly ash.
DOE Funding: $400,000; Non-DOE Funding: $108,812; Total Funding: $508,812
* Development of a Cost-Effective Extraction Process for the Recovery of Heavy and Critical Rare Earth Elements from the Clays and Shales Associated with Coal— Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, Virginia) will investigate ion-exchange leaching and concentration technologies that can extract and enrich the REEs derived from coal resources, specifically clay and shale.
DOE Funding: $400,000; Non-DOE Funding: $100,000; Total Funding: $500,000
Area of Interest 2—Optimization of Current State-of-the-Art Separation Technologies for Initial REE Extraction, Concentrating to ≥ 2‒10 Weight Percent
* Economic Extraction, Recovery, and Upgrading of Rare Earth Elements from Coal-Based Resources— The University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah) will demonstrate and improve methods to economically extract, recover, and upgrade the REE contents from coal-based resources using integrated modeling, coal preparation, bio-oxidation, solution conditioning, heap leaching, solvent extraction, and precipitation technologies to cleanly and cost-effectively produce rare earth-bearing products with more than 8 weight percent REE.
DOE Funding: $399,200; Non-DOE Funding: $99,800; Total Funding: $499,000
* Coupled Hydrothermal Extraction and Ligand-Associated Organosilica Media Recovery of REEs from Coal Fly Ash— Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan) will examine the potential to couple hydrothermal leaching of coal fly ash with engineering a custom ligand-associated media to provide an organic solvent-free method of extracting and recovering REEs to be extracted to an acidic aqueous system that will have high concentrations of the targeted REEs (2-10 weight percent).
DOE Funding: $430,922; Non-DOE Funding: $112,857; Total Funding: $543,779
Area of Interest 3—Technology Advancements for High Purity REE Extractions, Concentrating to 90.0–99.99 Weight Percent
* Recovery of High Purity Rare Earth Elements (REEs) from Coal Ash via a Novel Electrowinning Process— Battelle Memorial Institute (Columbus, Ohio) will advance development of REE processing company Rare Earth Salts’ novel electrowinning separation and purification process and Battelle’s Acid Digestion Process, and validate that they can generate environmentally benign and economically sustainable REE products from domestic coal ash sources at purities above 90 percent.
DOE Funding: $674,940; Non-DOE Funding: $200,000; Total Funding: $874,940
* At-source Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Coal Mine Drainage— West Virginia University Research Corporation (Morgantown, West Virginia) will develop a process to extract an enriched, mixed REE product from Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) at the production site, upstream of conventional AMD treatment. The project will demonstrate that improvements in REE extraction efficiency can be obtained through separation of REEs from aqueous phase AMD, upstream of conventional AMD treatment.
* DOE Funding: $644,060; Non-DOE Funding: $220,198; Total Funding: $864,258
* The Office of Fossil Energy funds research and development projects to reduce the risk and cost of advanced fossil energy technologies and further the sustainable use of the Nation’s fossil resources. To learn more about the programs within the Office of Fossil Energy, visit the Office of Fossil Energy website or sign up for FE news announcements. More information about the National Energy Technology Laboratory is available on the NETL website.
US Coal Exports https://www.eia.gov/coal/production/quarterly/pdf/t7p01p1.pdf
“U.S. coal exports have made steady inroads into the Asian market since 2007. Almost all the U.S. coal exported to Asia went to the world’s top four coal importers: China, Japan, India, and South Korea. Asia’s share of total U.S. coal exports increased from 2% in 2007 to 25% in 2012. While U.S. coal has also been gaining market share in Asia, it provided less than 4% of Asia’s coal imports in 2012, and less than 1% of total coal consumed by the four large Asian importers.” https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=11791
“Rare earth elements (REEs) are a group of 15 chemical elements in the periodic table, specifically the lanthanides. Two other elements, scandium and yttrium, have a similar physiochemistry to the lanthanides, are commonly found in the same mineral assemblages, and are often referred to as REEs. REEs have not been mined in the United States for about 20 years, and prior to that time, the amount of mining was minimal compared to coal and hard rock mining. The increased use of REEs in magnets, modern electronics and in a variety of commercial products has led to a shortgage of REEs for production purposes. Currently, REEs are being disposed in large quantities rather than being recovered and reused. The purpose of this report is to serve as a technical information resource to policy makers and other stakeholders who are concerned with the potential environmental and health effects and impacts that can be identified across the REE supply chain. RTI conducted a search of the technical literature and other Internet sources related to each segment of the supply chain, including recent initiatives of U.S. government agencies that document issues associated with REE production, processing, manufacturing, end uses, recycling, and health/ecological effects. Information contained in this report also draws upon past domestic and international experience, as appropriate. Compared to coal and other hardrock mining, the scope of REE mining has always been very small, both in the U.S. and globally. No major REE mining operations have been conducted in the U.S. since 1995. Mining and processing activities have the potential to create a number of environmental risks to human health and the environment. The severity of these risks is highly variable between mine and mine plant operations. The contaminants of concern will vary depending on the REE-mineral ore, the toxicity of the contaminants from the waste rock, ore stockpiles, and process waste streams. The mobility of contaminants will be controlled by the characteristics of the geologic, hydrologic, and hydrogeologic environments where the mine is located, along with the characteristics of the mining process and waste handling methods“. https://nepis.epa.gov/Adobe/PDF/P100EUBC.pdf
Re Chuck Schumer and his brother:
“Capital Public Law Report: How Schumer screens for U.S. attorney; A.K.A. epidemic“, By COLBY HAMILTON 03/06/2015, Politico https://archive.vn/gaSWP
“Behind every successful activist, there is a lawyer“, by Jessica Toonkel, Soyoung Kim AUGUST 5, 2013, Reuters: “Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP attorneys Robert Schumer and Steven Williams have Elliott Management as a major client” https://archive.vn/eUNg4
“Robert Schumer and Steven Williams of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison are providing counsel to Elliott…” “The Deal: Elliott Management Bids $3B For Riverbed”, by CHRIS NOLTERJAN 8, 2014 5:54 PM EST https://archive.vn/viiPX
“Elliott Management and Hess Settle Proxy Battle”, May 2013, “The Paul, Weiss team included corporate partners Robert Schumer” https://archive.vn/qRLzj
“Elliott Management and Iron Mountain Reach Settlement, April 2011
“The Paul, Weiss team advising Elliott Management included corporate partners Robert B. Schumer” https://archive.vn/SmDM8
“Elliott Management and Compuware Reach Agreement” Jan 2014 “The Paul, Weiss team included corporate partners Jeffrey Marell and Robert Schumer; …” https://archive.vn/1S4G0
“Just seven weeks after acquiring a $3.2 billion stake in AT&T, Elliott reached an agreement that the company would cut costs, bring on two new board members, and review portfolio companies.” https://archive.vn/E8bDI
See: “Meet Bob Schumer, the lawyer who helped Adam Neumann secure a $1.7 billion exit package that infuriated some WeWork employees” By Casey Sullivan – October 30, 2019 https://archive.vn/E8bDI
“AT&T survived round one with activist hedge fund Elliott. Now, the company has to fill a board seat and weigh spin-offs under the fund’s close watch”.Oct 27 2019. https://archive.vn/Yr02I