Coal producers know that their dirty fuel's days are numbered. If concerns about global warming - burning coal pumps more carbon into the atmosphere per unit of energy generated than does either oil or natural gas - don't lead to coal's phaseout, then the rapidly dropping prices of solar and wind-generated electricity will make coal obsolete sooner or later.
|Colombia's El Cerrejon coal mine,|
near the Venezuelan border, owned
by BHP Billiton, Anglo American
and Glencore, also produces about 33
million tons of coal annually.
So Drummond - and undoubtedly other producers - are planning to accelerate their coal mining, long term environmental impacts be damned.
Drummond produced about 33 million tons of Colombian coal last year, and plans to raise annual production to 35 million tons with hopes to one day reach 40 million tons. At that rate, perhaps, it can exhaust its Colombian reserves before before coal sunsets.
According to the great majority of the world's scientists - as well as basic common sense - pumping huge quantities of carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere is altering the planet's climate in fundamental ways. However, Drummond doesn't seem concerned - I didn't see a mention of climate change on the company's website - and neither does the El Tiempo newspaper, despite all its protestations about environmental problems, headlined its interview with Drummond's Colombian CEO 'That's how things are done' and didn't mention global warming. And neither does the Colombian government, which claims to aspire to sustainable development while overseeing unrestrained resource extraction.