Energy Dept. Launches $122 Million “Coal Products” Research Program

by | Jun 13, 2020

The Department of Energy announced a $122 million competition for bids to set up “coal innovation centers” throughout the country, which will develop “value-added, carbon-based products from coal, as well developing new methods to extract and process rare earth elements and critical minerals.” In a statement, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette termed it “vitally important” to develop domestic sources for these materials. Coal and renewables each supplied 11% of national energy consumption in 2019, according to the Energy Information Agency, respectively a 42-year-low and record high. Status: The competition launched on June 26, 2020, with a post-election deadline of Nov. 9, 2020.

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Amy Westervelt is the editor-in-chief of Drilled News, creator and host of the Drilled podcast, and founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network, named AdWeek's Podcast Network of the Year in 2019. An award-winning print and audio journalist, Amy has contributed to The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, as well as KQED, The California Report, Capital Public Radio, and many other outlets. She is the 2015 winner of the Rachel Carson award for "women greening journalism," and a 2016 winner of an Edward R. Murrow award for her series on the impacts of the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. In 2019, the Drilled podcast won the Online News Association's "Excellence in Audio Storytelling" award.

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Emily J. Gertz is senior editor of Drilled News. A longtime environmental reporter and editor, her work has appeared in HuffPost, Reveal, Arctic Today, The Guardian, Popular Science, Scientific American, Sierra, and more.