If his golf and presidential schedules allow, President Donald Trump will follow the withdrawal from the Paris climate change by attending a speedway cookout in celebration of the opening of a new coal mine in Pennsylvania.
“The mines are starting to open up,” he said as he announced the withdrawal from the pact on Thursday afternoon. “We’re having a big opening in two weeks.”
He went on: “A big opening of a brand new mine’s unheard of. For many, many years that hasn't happened.
He was speaking as if the new Acosta mine in western Pennsylvania were another of his fantastic accomplishments. He seemed to see confirmation of this in an invitation to chow down at the Janesville Speedway Complex on June 8.
“They asked me,” he said. “I’m going to try.”
Only, the digging of the mine had begun two months before the presidential election. The Corsa Coal Company had been responding to a climate change-linked rise in the price of the particular kind of coal found there.
This is metallurgical coal, which is also found in abundance in Australia.
The worldwide price hike was partly the result of the threat of increasingly frequent and more intense cyclones Down Under.
And the Australian Bureau of Meteorology attributed the shift in the weather to what else but climate change.
"Ocean temperatures are currently 1–2 °C warmer than average to the north and east of Australia which is favorable for tropical cyclone development,” the society reported last fall.
The society predicted that along with an accompanying change in the winds, the warming would significantly increase the chances that Australia’s metallurgical coal belt would be hit by disruptive storms between November and April.
In January, a huge tropical storm shut down the main metallurgical coal port in Australia.
Then, in early April, a monster storm dubbed Cyclone Debbie struck, triggering landslides that cut the rail links between the coal mines to the ports.
And, even as the supply of metallurgical coal — also known as “coke coal” — dropped, the demand for it steadily rose as the result of increased steel production, mainly in China.
“A perfect storm for coking coal prices,” the Sydney Morning Herald noted.
All this had been anticipated by the marketplace and, as prices soared, the Corsa Coal Company had been quick to act.
“Extreme global shortages of metallurgical coal have caused prices to increase 250% since earlier in the year,” CEO George Dethlefsen, was quoted saying on a company website in early November. “Corsa is taking steps to maximize coal production and sales to capitalize on the favorable market environment.”
He went on, “In September, we commenced development work at the Acosta deep mine, which is scheduled to be in production in the second quarter of 2017.”
The mine will be officially opening just a bit into the third quarter. And it promises to be a HUGE success thanks not to Trump, but to a perfect price storm born of climate change along with Chinese steel production.
China also being the country that will be taking the global lead in addressing climate change, thanks to Trump’s decision to withdraw.
At least he is going to try to attend the big speedway cookout.