Got Coal?

Unleash Prosperity Hotline
Issue #325
07/13/2021
1) Got Coal?

This WSJ headline from recent days caught our eyes, but didn’t get nearly the attention it should have:
 


“Coal prices have climbed to their highest level in a decade, making the fuel a hot commodity in a year when governments are pledging reductions in carbon emissions…. Prices for thermal coal—which power plants burn to boil water into steam, spin turbines and generate electricity—have more than doubled over the past year as a result. Coal delivered into northwest Europe earlier this month hit its highest price since November 2011, having climbed 64% in 2021. Prices for coal exported from Newcastle in Australia, most of which heads to Asia, have risen 56%, according to Argus Media.”

Coal Prices Double



Then there is this from the International Energy Administration:

“In 2021, we expect recovering economic activity to reverse 2020’s decline in coal demand, with a 4.5% increase pushing global coal demand above 2019 levels.”

Whoa Nelly! We thought Biden had declared war on coal. Yes, but only on AMERICAN coal. Meanwhile, his anti-natural gas policies are contributing to a coal renaissance. We don’t have a problem with this.

Coal – with the right environmental protections – cheap, reliable and made in America. Except more and more of the coal production to meet the surge in global demand is NOT coming from America, but from countries with much worse environmental records, like China, which is building dozens of coal plants. 

The stupidity of the Biden energy/climate policies knows no bounds. Biden’s war on clean coal from America hurts the economy, costs tens of thousands of jobs, AND contributes to more global pollution. We have predicted that after Biden’s first year in office, the declining levels of CO2 emissions over the past decade – especially under Trump – will reverse course. 
2) Is Delta Variant More Dangerous? A Look At The UK Data Says No

Contra the fear-hype from the media, the news is good. This chart from a report in Britain arranges the data into columns with hospitalization and death ratios calculated. (The ratios understate vaccine efficacy because the vaccine also prevents people from becoming cases – note the small numbers of delta cases in the vaccinated population.) Yellen doesn’t get it: the way to win the global race for capital is to cut American tax rates, not raise them. 



The UK Delta cases are overwhelmingly in unvaccinated people under age 50 – a low-risk population with a case fatality ratio (after 28-day follow-up) of just 0.03%, or 3 in 10,0000. That’s just half the under-50 death rate of the previously dominant Alpha or “UK” variant.



The Delta variant is more transmissible – but even that is exaggerated. Early reports suggested a 60% increase versus Alpha, but the most recent UK data shows just a less than 7% increase in secondary household attack rate (the odds of an infected person infecting a household contact) and a less than 2% Delta edge in infectiousness among non-household contacts.


 
In the U.S., Delta already accounted for the majority of cases nationally as of the most recent CDC estimates. But it was only 35% in the supposedly bad-behaving South (region 4). It’s already dominant in the Plains and Mountain West – with no new wave of serious disease.



Delta % By Region, CDC
USA: 52%
IA/KS/MO/NE: 81%
CO/MT/ND/SD/UT/WY: 74%
AR/LA/NM/OK/TX: 59%
AZ/CA/HI/NV: 57%
NY/NJ: 57%
IL/IN/MI/MN/OH/WI: 38%
AL/FL/GA/KY/MS/NC/SC/TN: 35%
CT/ME/MA/NH/RI/VT: 34%
AK/ID/OR/WA: 32%
DE/DC/MD/PA/VA/WV: 31%

Our view is that the Delta variant is a good reason for anyone age 50+ who isn’t already vaccinated to reconsider. But it is otherwise nothing to be concerned about.

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