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100 Years with Coal Age - 1960-1969
100 Years with Coal Age - 1960-1969
100 Years with Coal Age - 1960-1969
FRIDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2012 14:19
Article Index 100 Years with Coal Age 1920-1929 1930-1939 1940-1949 1950-1959 1960-1969 1970-1979 1980-1989 1990-1999 2000-2012 All Pages Page 6 of 10 1960s: Coal Fuels America’s Critical Electrical Backbone - 1960-1969 The 1960s were a period of transition for the coal industry. When the decade started, producers were struggling with a down economy and a public increasingly enamored by oil and natural gas. In 1958, natural gas bumped coal as the second place energy supplier and in 1959 almost 27% of the total energy picture was fueled by gas. Third place coal was down to only 23.5% that year, having fallen from 37.8% in 1950. As the new decade began, oil supplied 40% of the energy needs of the nation. Traditional markets like home heating and the railroads were gone. The saving grace of the industry was the development and build-out of America’s new electrical power grid. Though in 1960, coking coal and industrial users were the largest consumers of coal, by the end of the decade, the electrical industry was by far coal’s biggest client, receiving more than 310 million tons in 1969 as production increased to a high of 573 million tons that year—virtually all of it bituminous coal. But increased productivity came with a price. Land conservationists and environmentalists began to fight for regulations to control the appetites of the new strip-mining operations. In return, the coal industry, with the help of Coal Age, waged a massive public relations campaign showcasing the efforts of producers to voluntarily reclaim, re-plant and re-develop strip-mined lands. Legislation treating both acid mine drainage and reclamation controls were passed by several states, eventually forcing the federal government to get involved. Coal’s new ally, the electrical utility sector, also came under scrutiny as smog and smoke abatement campaigns and SO2 management schemes successfully altered the way coal was being burned. Just as King Coal began to reconstitute its collective strength and begin producing at levels not seen since the early 1950s, its detractors threatened to derail whatever gains were being made. Labor peace was sustained throughout the mid-1960s, but at a high price. Wages rose throughout the decade and producers turned to even greater mechanization as a result. The huge new draglines and buckets that started to be deployed in the late 1950s were joined by and often replaced by even larger draglines and mobile equipment as a fleet of new machines took the field—particularly in Illinois, western Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. Underground producers increasingly adopted and adapted new hydraulic machines and cutters, merging the technologies together into new longwall installations. By the end of the decade, tons per man-hour had gone through the roof at these more progressive operations. But the industry still needed new miners. As coal looked to expand, there weren’t enough workers to go around and not enough were applying for new jobs. As the industry faced its best opportunity in decades, creating a stable workforce became a challenge. During the spring of 1967, Coal Age also went through a transition as editor Ivan A. Given retired after nearly four decades working for the magazine—the longest tenure of any staff member. He was succeeded March 1 by Alfred E. Flowers, who had been a long-time associate editor. A native of Sutton, West Virginia, Given was the fifth chief editor of Coal Age. After a 10-week editorial training course, he started his McGraw Hill career on June 25, 1928. On March 2, 1944, he was appointed the magazine’s editor, a position he held longer than anyone prior.
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Production patterns were changing as well. utilities increased their use of bituminous coal. Given would be off by only 20 million tons. it seemed longwall mining would become the technological breakthrough that underground producers had been hoping to make for many years. the region’s shallow reserves were perfectly tailored for the moment. increased production. Electrical Demand Drives Steady Production Gains in the 1960s Slumping coal production had stabilized to approximately 435 million tons in the late 1950s and early 1960s.php/features/2284-100-years-with-coal-age. the rest of the top five productive mines in 1963 were all Illinois basin surface operations owned by Peabody. In 1961. Manufactured by Westfalia Lunen. in 1961 and 1962 and several longwall units were installed during the decade. 10 in Pawnee. “Hard hit by deeper-than-expected recession in ’58 and a severe 4-mo steel strike in ’59. “its quite likely that Consol will produce its next billion tons in less than 25 years—perhaps less.. Germany. as a sign of the times.6 million and 3.5 as editor Given predicted that. working three shifts a day. challenged competitors to ensure coal’s place at the head of the nation’s energy future. “The key to the situation has been the advent of self-advancing roof-support units that permit longwalling under the labor-economy conditions prevailing in American mines. Together. Ill.’ in the case of Consol.35 million tons the following year. “The number of longwalls adapted from foreign practice is as yet small. one of the nation’s most productive mine.” In December 1961.S. but would gradually and steadily rise from there throughout the decade to a high of 573 million tons in 1969. producing more than 5 million tons from a single opening. “Japan was the star in an otherwise dull export market. five days a week. “The mine.html?start=5 2/8 . big oil brought with it deep pockets and coal producers were able to secure the vital capital to expand to new heights of efficiency. Its contributions to the advancement of the industry’s general welfare will continue to grow in scope and magnitude as www. Producers also worked with the electrical industry to increase coal utilization. were flat and falling by 1961. but the newly important ones of air and water pollution. but anyone who sees either of the two now in regular operation is most likely to be seized by an almost irresistible desire to go home and place an order for one or more of his own. By the end of the decade. many of the biggest miners. plant noise and appearance and others. the 210th day worked. But. set a world record in output. the system allowed a 50% reduction in manpower. produced the 5 millionth ton on Dec.com/index. 1959 totals were approximately 10% higher than the previous year as almost 170 million tons were burned by the growing utility sector.1/18/13 100 Years with Coal Age . ‘Consolidation.” The magazine would continue to report on Eastern’s progress with longwall technologies in the October 1962 model mining number. September 1964 and August 1969 issues. A close second was the conventional Pittston/Clinchfield Moss No. The top 15 coal companies (led by Consol and Peabody at 31 million tons and 25. But conventional mines were still holding their own ground. West German and British equipment was field tested in the U. 11. each mining between 3. For the October 1964 model mining number. bituminous operators would find markets for between 625 million and 650 million tons of coal.1960-1969 As Given was retiring.S. For the 11th straight year. with shipments drifting from 37 down to around 33 million tons.” Taking advantage at the market’s bottom. and minimum maintenance and supply costs. “not only of competition. production bottomed out at 423 million tons. Close to new TVA burns and with excellent river access. land reclamation and improvement. In 1960. the editors once again reviewed the operations of Consolidation Coal—that year celebrating its centennial. Having just produced its 1 billionth ton.. New production methods increased tons per man to approximately 13. Since research and development was key. including top producer Consolidation. oil companies started buying up coal producers left and right. Barging became much more common as new mines located along rivers and installed docking facilities—often foregoing rail transport entirely. by 1970. and marketed by Mining Progress Inc. truly means benefits to the energy consumer and the general public of the United States even now running to many millions of dollars annually as a result of its concentration over the years on a better product and better service at a lower price. producers joined forces to help develop coal-to-liquid fuel technologies and other techniques to return to transportation markets. through the formation of the new National Coal Policy Conference and the re-organization of the National Coal Association.” wrote the editors in the January 1962 issue. heralded in the 1950s as a steady 40 million ton market. Coal Age reviewed the operating results of newly installed longwall technology at the Keystone mine owned by Eastern Gas & Fuel Associates in West Virginia. industry management. better roof control. Other producers began shipping in new unit trains to take advantage of efficiencies of scale and conditionally lowered freight rates. Peabody Coal’s Mine No. In the April 1963 issue. Though now reduced to only corporate divisions. By the end of the decade. they also teamed up to fight increasing railroad shipping rates by changing transportation patterns. In the new decade. The mine would produce 5. Coal exports. the editors stated that coal use by utilities was expected to grow at a rate of 13 million to 20 million tons per year. In 1962.1 million tons.coalage. Eastern had become a leader in mining efficiency. as well as the August 1963. bituminous entered the new year and decade poised to resume its growth destiny. 3 in Virginia that produced 5. At the time.” wrote the editors in the February 1960 issue. subsidence. five of the top 10 producing mines were in the Illinois Basin and six of the top 11 were surface operations. had been purchased by oil companies.7 million tons respectively) produced nearly 40% of the national total. King Coal was beset upon by myriad of challenges. is on the verge of a change that might eventually deserve the term.” reported the magazine in February 1963. which employs 840 men. “The times when ‘revolution’ is the appropriate description of a change in mining are quite few…[but]…deep mining in the U.” wrote Given in the March 1962 editorial. Some of the largest of these were concentrated in western Kentucky’s rapidly growing coalfields.15 million tons that year. That would grow to 179 million tons in 1961 and 193 million tons in 1962.
decided the time was right to buy Peabody Coal. “the list of problems confronting www. In February 1967. Other expansions. the magazine reported on the just announced “marriage of two giants” between Continental Oil Co.php/features/2284-100-years-with-coal-age. The nation’s long time number one producer at the time. The oil company’s unexpected intent to acquire Consol.com/index. this was the longest planned unit train shipment in the nation—a time when unit trains were coming into vogue. more companies took positive steps to comply with new regulations. raised eyebrows both on Wall Street and in industry circles. Though production increased another 20 million to 532 million tons. In the October 1965 issue. (Conoco) and Consol. shovel capacity grew to 180 cu yd and there was a major breakthrough in truck design with the advent of the 240-ton shuttle unit. This new truck. In 1965. Continued growth in electrical generating demand led to the decision to build a $118 million 1 million kW power plant in Washington State using locally mined coal. little light was shed by the firm’s announcements. with operations in West Virginia being the most prolific. A mine in Utah is now on its fifth panel in coal that could not be mined by other means. At the time. Coal reserves to fuel the plant were acquired by the plant’s owners and officials from the new partnership envisioned a large surface operation eventually providing all fuel needs. was undergoing tests in Illinois while more units in the 100-ton class went into service elsewhere. one of the leading hard rock mining companies. the new Kaiser Steel Corp. As to the why of the merger.S. said it is no longer a question of one source of energy pushing out another source. Designed to boost system generating capacity by 25%.6 million tons. Productionwise that year. were also announced in West Virginia.1/18/13 100 Years with Coal Age . 19% more than in 1963 and 1. the Santa Fe Ry. the company was entering a period of tremendous growth. production leader by a surging Peabody Coal Group that mined 46. McCollum. Here and overseas.” While oil companies were intrigued about creating energy synergies with coal producers. with most of the increase going into the utilities markets that burned a record 245 million tons that year. Despite this. especially in the development of improved roof-support equipment and automatic control of the face sequence. chairman of Conoco. Calif. not all of it coalfired. To provide this service. bituminous production increased by approximately 20 million tons year over year. where capacity would expand from 800. and another operator in the Rocky Mountain region has begun operating a 330-ft long wall in a seam that pitches 30 deg. blast furnaces some 1. Coal Age reported that American Electric Power (AEP) was beginning to act on vast expansion plans throughout Appalachia..” wrote Given. The goal “is to restore the mined land to new and continuing usefulness. One face in West Virginia employs two ranging shears. Following a large $38 million build out in southern Illinois. “equivalent in Btu’s to two-thirds of the total petroleum-liquid reserves in the country. Not to be over looked in the turmoil over the merger announcement is Consol’s ‘Project Gasoline’ which it is predicted will turn out gasoline from coal at 11c a gallon.1960-1969 Consol moves ahead in the production of its second billion tons. the 90-year-old Continental Oil Co.3 million tons more than Consol. Consol and Peabody would vie for industry production leadership throughout the decade. With overall tonnage expected to top more than 45 million tons in 1964—a nearly 14% increase year over year. Consol held reserves in nine states and was mining in six. In July 1966. surface miners continued to deal with increasing pressure from federal and state agencies and more companies planned land reclamation as part of their mining operations. “Much of the activity during the year was devoted to equipment evaluation which led to the introduction of new types.html?start=5 3/8 . history.5 million tons per year. spokespeople for the two companies said discussions were being held. When completed. 12 longwall installations were being tested nationwide. transportation and other basic industries will be doubled. including a ‘reasonable’ profit. and Pacific Power & Light would lead to the opening up of the largely untapped Centralia-Chehalis coalfields. This figure is said to be less than half any previous prediction for a coal-liquefying process of this type. Longwall projections were changed at another West Virginia installation to correct a crushing problem in the tail entry. Virginia and elsewhere. L. By 1980 the free world’s need for economic sources of fossil energy for electric power. F. interests. The power plant was designed to initially consume between 4 million and 5 million tons annually—more than the peak year of production—1918 —for all the coal mines in Washington combined.” In September. the various projects would consume an estimated 146 million tons over their lifetime.676 billion tons. York Canyon mine in northeastern New Mexico began making shipments of coking coal to the company’s Fontana.” Surface miners continued to add larger shovels to the fleet.3 million kilowatts of new generation capacity in the area. Consol was overtaken as the U. In November. Kennecott Copper. boosting the generating station’s coal burn to more than 4. in 1964. Coal Age reported the joint venture between the Washington Power Co. “In explaining the union of the two companies. Ohio. the Consol/Conoco “Energy” merger was completed. Reasons suggested by Wall Street analysts included Consol’s need to dispose of its immense cash flow and the importance of its Chrysler Corp. a great deal of research is unde rway.495 million kW. AEP announced commitments of $370 million through 1970 to add another 2. however. As acid-water controls became stricter. was the eighth largest crude oil producer worldwide.” The coal industry’s drive to decrease prices throughout the decade was rewarded by utility consumers.” In 1965. However. The first expansion project would take place at the Muskingum River plant near Marietta.000 kW to 1. particularly following its 1962 merger with Truax-Traer. designed to keep up with ever growing capacity of stripping machines. “representing the largest merger of oil and coal interests in U. acquired 101 specially-designed 100 ton gondola cars. working from opposite ends of the face toward the center then back to the ends. Several months later in October. Peabody had invested heavily in new dragline technology and was churning out massive amounts of surface mined coal in western Kentucky and Illinois. involving some $620 million. In 1965. eight-four of which will move in continuous shuttle service on a rapid turn around schedule from mine to mill and back. The 101-year-old Consol produced a record of nearly 49 million tons and had recoverable reserves estimated at 5.S.coalage.100 mi away.
when production reached 600 million tons. and four of the top six were owned by Peabody. the same operations were also the top five producers in 1968. In the August 1968 issue.500 employees in four mines already. also was required to install 99% efficient dust-collecting equipping in three years. continued to climb www. which took a giant step in 1967. With all of the new production coming online. and its mayor. improvement of plant appearance.” Also. requiring reduction of the maximum sulfur content of coal and oil from its original level of 2.000 men through 1973 and had immediate needs for 1.1960-1969 As good as the year had been. to disperse and dilute the sulfur oxides to an acceptable standard. camping. credit for opening the pollution ball of 1966 perhaps should go to New York City. States. With the Johnson administration’s Department of Health. state and local pressure for tighter legislation. Federal and other state efforts continued along similar lines as more AMD laws were put forth and debated. This pressure already is being reflected at some new power plants in the construction of tall stacks. “the list of problems confronting bituminous at the end of 1966 certainly was close to if not actually the longest in the industry’s history. reduction of plant noise. already are on schedule to begin production by 1972. as the year ended. estimates of additional mining manpower needed in the next five years ranged up to 40. The 1967 output was the highest since 1948. In his campaign he promised to stop the use of coal in the city…The City Council. Coal Age repeated Consol’s call for 10.8% to 1% in three stages in five years. college campuses also was being carried out on an increasing scale. “air and water pollution. it quickly vaulted to the top of the heap.8 million tons that year. control of air and water pollution. meaning that “the full production of these new mines has been sold not only for a few years. due to violations of the new Clean Streams Act. picnicking and the like—to help meet the growing need for reclamation. the Common-wealth of Pennsylvania forcibly closed its first major mine.” wrote new editor Alfred Flowers in the January issue.1/18/13 Though production increased another 20 million to 532 million tons.coalage. Both the coal and utility industries commissioned feasible studies on cutting SO2 emissions. Equally hungry for workers.com/index. already problems for coal. not the least of them being the fact that a growing number of officeholders and vote-seekers feel that they can make political hay out of advocating rigorous restriction or complete barring of mine operation or coal use. As the year ended. when some 47 new mines will go on stream. got into the act in 1966. 100 Years with Coal Age .” An additional 17 metallurgical mines were in the advanced planning stage as well. only three of the new mines were captive. said to be the toughest in the nation. requiring in turn a significant increase in recruiting and training efforts. was what was really needed. “Against a backdrop of increased federal. Most of the new operations were already under contract at the time of the survey. which had classified acid mine drainage as industrial waste and forbade its discharge to any stream. The standard would require cuts to all sulfur emissions. Additional research. And 1966 perhaps can be put down as the year in which the drive for better reclamation. needed were new miners. will accelerate rapidly in 1968. But top on the list was the Southwestern Illinois Captain surface mine that produced more than 5. however.3 million tons. John V. Flowers was still skeptical. demonstrating that coal has recognized and taken advantage of its opportunity to share in the sharply expanding electric energy market. up to 1. particulate matter and other pollutants in an effort to “head off the promulgation of unworkable regulations with the potential of grave injury to the fuels industry. Another 23 mines. these mines will add 79. adopted a new air-pollution-control law. in May. Though Captain would be overtaken by the River King mine. But environmental challenges re-mained at the forefront of the industries concerns.php/features/2284-100-years-with-coal-age.” 17 new deep mines representing more than 30 million tons were planned for West Virginia alone. and so on really began to confront coal with some potentially serious problems. Nearly 83% of the new production will be dedicated to longterm contracts with utility customers. “There is some doubt about whether sulfur dioxide is a health hazard in the concentrations encountered by the average person…Even though the health hazard is minimal or under normal conditions nonexistent. Utility burn.5 million tons to annual output. the Melcroft mine of Eastern Associated Coal Corp. four of these were surface mines.000 new workers. Just behind it was the Peabody Dynamo No. Conversion of mined lands into sites for housing. “When they are up to full capacity. cities and other governmental entities along with a host of private agencies and plain people. New York’s utility. Though demand was there. “Coal’s big expansion. Education and Welfare heading the drive. became big ones in 1966. particularly the problems concerned with sulfur dioxide created by coal-burning electrical power plants. fuel users can expect continuing pressure to provide clean air. even.” wrote Given in his February 1967 editorial. River Queen (western Kentucky) and Sinclair (western Kentucky) averaging more than 5 million tons per year each. continued in 1967” with 551 million tons mined that year. he and others felt. dating back to 1961. and lots of them. wildcat strikes broke out following frustration over new contracts. “The upward climb in bituminous production. Nuclear power suddenly became a major competitor in the year just past—or at least was being increasingly credited with that accomplishment. but for the expected life of the property.html?start=5 4/8 . Representing a total capacity of more than 26 million tons.200 ft high.000 or more. a new high was reached in land involved in reclamation in 1966—and in the quality of the job. 10 underground mine in Illinois. Five of the top six producing mines that year were in the Illinois Basin. Lindsay.” Flowers wrote in the April editorial. capable of producing 68.” New pollution laws treating federal installations were set to go into affect in October 1968.” Production grew again in 1967 to 567 million tons and it was expected to rise rapidly from there as new mines came on line throughout the next few years. Though Coal Age analyzed the known data in the April 1968 issue. commercial and industrial facilities and. the near term future was even brighter. Third was the Clinchfield/Pittston Moss No. By 1969. Labor stoppages were more often than not reflections of frustration with UMWA policies and producer acceptance of them. with more to come in the years ahead…Though HEW and other agencies had been active for some time. New in 1964. Eastern Associated in West Virginia rolled out a campaign to recruit and train 5. One result was a significant increase in the cost of reclamation per acre—$100 to $300 in the majority of cases…there was additional emphasis on the creation of facilities—fishing. production fell to 545 million tons. regulation of surface subsidence. 3 mine and the next three were the massive Peabody surface mines River King (Illinois). Con Edison. Bituminous coal was banned for space and hot-water heating..
Senate and House conferees agreed on a compromise version of the new Federal Coal Mine & Safety Act of 1969. Frustrated by a leadership accused of being more sympathetic to corporate needs than worker desires. As big oil continued to invest in coal. resisting efforts by the rank-and-file to assert more rights and local controls. “in large part reflecting the fact that the benefits won for union members. and utilities took 310 million tons of it. and the 3. and dramatically increased federal enforcement powers in coal mines.000 acres of coal containing approximately 600 million tons. Capable of taking 325-ton overburden bites. on November 20. and provided compensation for miners who were totally and permanently disabled by the progressive respiratory disease caused by the inhalation of fine coal dust pneumoconiosis or “black lung.html?start=5 5/8 . With large reserves in the west and Illinois Basin.. Lewis passed on the reins of the UMWA to his long-time Vice President Arthur Kennedy. later renamed the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). wielded power with a tight fist. about 7.40c Welfare Fund assessment. These included the 2. Japanese purchases of coking coal increased significantly as some 16 million tons was absorbed into the growing market.php/features/2284-100-years-with-coal-age. and a stable growth curve seemed just within reach. Boyle. Whether it can hold its own and possibly recoup some of its losses is a major problem for the union.000 tons more than the towering machine actually weighed.com/index. once Lewis’ right hand man. P&M (Gulf) and others had been folded into larger energy conglomerates and oil companies. Another bright spot were continuing high export levels. but the union itself.1/18/13 100 Years with Coal Age . AEP formally dedicated stripping operations at the company’s new mine near Zanesville. In January 1965. Ayrshire was a leader in the development of highly productive surface operations and the 11th largest overall producer in 1968. The safety standards for all coal mines were strengthened. that the new bill would be on President Nixon’s desk by the end of the year.000 mw of power from a dozen power plants was either under construction or being considered throughout eight western states. Front and center was the Big Muskie walking dragline.M. Additionally. part of Occidental Petroleum beginning the year before. The Coal Act included surface as well as underground coal mines within its scope.) That trend continued throughout 1969 as Island Creek. continued to climb to approximately 296 million tons that year. aging union warrior John L. maintaining roughly the same levels as the previous year for the same reasons: wildcat strikes.. Generally referred to as the Coal Act. Sun Oil acquired nearly 15. in early 1969. roughly 7. Ohio. the UMWA celebrated its 75-year of organizing and struggle.500 tons of material an hour. acquired the assets of Maust Coal & Coke. plans were confirmed to continue constructing large coal-fired power plants in the western U. The machine’s 240-ton bucket has a capacity of 220 cu yd.1960-1969 Though demand was there. ending his 40 year reign. Nevertheless. Gulf Resources & Chemical took over C&K Coal Co. Okla. In full operation Big Muskie could handle about 19. as well as others. in Ill.coalage. at the time. Coal Age reported on the plans of Ashland Oil to acquire or lease substantially all of the assets of Ayrshire Collieries Corp.4% higher than 1967. however. And. Also. new electrical power facilities continued to be placed on drawing boards. to serve the region’s growing population. the union controlled nearly 90% of the bituminous tonnage and practically all of the anthracite. died several years later and was succeeded by new Vice President Anthony “Tony” Boyle. the bituminous figure had dropped to roughly 70%-75%. and established criminal penalties for knowing and willful violations.” Also created by the Act was the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration (MESA). Coal was used to producing 63. within the Department of Interior. required two annual inspections of every surface coal mine and four at every underground coal mine. the Basin Electric Power Cooperative was beginning to site new plants in Wyoming as efforts continued to develop the state’s vast coal resources. It was expected. production fell to 545 million tons. In May 1969.300 mw Navajo facility near Page. roughly 19. bituminous producers pulled approximately 571 million tons out of the earth that year. Pa. Production in 1969 was flat. www. The Coal Act included specific procedures for the development of improved mandatory health and safety standards. At its peak in the 1930s and 1940s. the energy industry continued to expand. a majority of the largest coal producers including Consol. At the time. it was the largest mobile land machine ever built. protesting not their employers.. Eastern. have provided a margin and incentive for non-union producers. Kerr-McGhee began metallurgical production near Stigler. public relations and legislative areas.. in Clarion. Kennedy himself. in February.. Ariz.” wrote Given in the January 1965 issue. But in 1965. Wyo.” Also capping the decade. The huge machine capped a dragline and shovel race that began in the 1950s as various surface producers ordered ever larger equipment capable of achieving successively greater efficiencies of scale. N. The Coal Act also required monetary penalties for all violations. Its 325-ton load would more than fill three large 100 ton railroad hopper cars. dozens of UMWA locals increasingly turned to wildcat walkouts. and health standards were adopted. a longtime veteran of the fight. There also is a question for producers: What would follow if the stability provided by the fixed union wage and working conditions was lost. Or was it? Labor in the 1960s In 1960.S. Manufactured by Bucyrus-Erie. near Rock Springs.000 mw San Juan plant near Farmington. Humble Energy created a new subsidiary to set up and start production of the Monterey Coal Co. some 51 million tons in 1968. plus the changing nature of the bituminous market. particularly the $0. (Peabody was the one exception as the company was doggedly pursued by Kennecott Copper throughout the end of the decade. “the new giant can move more earth faster and farther than any machine of its type ever built. continuing a trend of oil companies entering the coal sphere.7% over 1968. the new body of law was more comprehensive and stringent than any previous federal legislation governing the mining industry. Utility burn. as well as a National Mine Map Repository. as well as the help of the union in marketing.6% of America’s energy in 1968. By the end of the decade. an increase of 4.
had a total working weight of 9.Va. Congress passed the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969. Yablonski had been president of UMWA District 5—an appointed position—until Boyle had removed him in 1965. On December 31. represented a fracturing of the union with many activist miners backing Yablonski and reform. were giants and many smaller shovels performed herculean tasks in the shadows of their more well-known cousins. 1969. and. to become the largest land vehicle yet constructed. 1970. which accounted for 52. down from . After another wage increase. A second one was built to follow it and in April 1961.45. gains were made throughout the decade. as they slept in the Yablonski home in Clarksville. but on December 18. 9 mine in Farmington. the proud organization he had lead through the Great Depression.1960-1969 By the mid-1960s. this time a 85 cu yd Marion Power Shovel.php/features/2284-100-years-with-coal-age. Shocked UMWA members increasingly turned against their own leadership and the 1970s became a period of massive labor unrest as union solidarity ceased. Pennsylvania. by the end of the 1960s. But still. Producing less than 18 million tons. 1969.com/index. three killers shot Yablonski. in 1969. few were prepared for the news later that year. established the groundwork for the current Mine Safety and Health Adminis-tration. which had just taken over the stripping job at the Sinclair mine at Paradise in western Kentucky. Joseph “Jock” Yablonski challenged Boyle for the presidency of UMWA. Production was cut by some 12 million tons in a three week period of labor actions. anthracite’s incident factor was more than three times higher than bituminous producers where fatality rates per short ton had fallen to . Safety Gains Marred by Massive Fire and Explosion in 1968.8% of the underground fatalities. The latest titanic Bucyrus-Erie shovel. as well as operational safety concerns. Boyle defeated Yablonski on December 9 by a margin of nearly two-to-one (80. his wife. of course. In July 1963. by 1961. The new Bucyrus-Erie 3850-B. activist miners began to threaten the entrenched Boyle leadership and the stability of the union. fatalities had continued to fall. fatalities increased in 1965 by 15 to 255 total and 247 in bituminous. Roughly a year after the disaster. 1 killer. Roof falls. Yablonski conceded the election.55 the year before. When John L. when its terms were released and read by rank-and-file members a near “rebellion” broke out. much more strict than any that preceded it. advances in stripping technologies enabled producers to deploy ever larger units into a variety of applications. In November 1968. Throughout the Midwest and later the southwest. producers were dealing with a blizzard of legislation even as the power industry continued to turn to coal to generate more electricity.1/18/13 100 Years with Coal Age . Safety training was becoming more common and one company was already holding weekly one-hour safety sessions at which selected safety topics were discussed. Roof-bolting was keeping American miners safer. primarily in Ohio. Calls for Reclamation Laws Grow Louder The cartoonish massive stripping machine depicted dwarfing a coal train on the April 1960 cover of the magazine heralded the continuation of the battle of the buckets. Lewis died in June 1969. Fatalities in the mid-1960s were averaging at under 300 per year. The comprehensive mine safety legislation. falling to a total of 240 in 1964. specifically as a fleet of highly productive machines were increasingly deployed. though rates per ton rose only slightly to . His challenge. trapped inside and killed 78 miners. was destined for one of Peabody Coal’s western Kentucky strip mines. the first of a sitting UMWA president. 24 of those fatalities occurred in anthracite mines. Pa. wheel excavator www. West Virginia and Kentucky where there had long been disaffection. Part of a fleet of machines that would help mine more than 4 million tons per year.49. W. Throughout the late 1950s. Included in the “Coal Act’s” language were provisions addressing silicosis (black lung). the number of fatalities dropped to 208 from 227 in 1966. the editors reported on the new wheel and 70-yd shovel then working in tandem at the Peabody River King mine..4%. for greater safety rules. Combined with new environmental regulations. The disaster made national headlines and placed the environmentally controversial industry back in the public eye. The attention led to hearings in Washington and the call. However. and other miner’s health issues. in particular by Interior Secretary Mark Udall. Days of billowing smoke emanating from the mine and repeated rescue attempts made for compelling television coverage. With 305 lives snuffed out that year.coalage. Battle of the Buckets: As Stripping Machines Grow in Size. a third Peabody dragline. Production records were toppling at the time as the shovel. the magazine breathlessly reported on the start-up of Peabody’s first 115-cu yd shovel. In an election widely perceived as corrupt.073). more than 60% of production was mined under bolted roof. the glory went to the giants. particularly in bituminous. the world’s largest machine. the new dragline was capable of moving over 3 million cu yds of material a month. he asked the Department of Labor to investigate the election for fraud.000 tons and was far-and-away the largest land machine able to move under its own power yet to be constructed. With safety improving throughout the decade. Not all. several producers seemed to be vying to commission and deploy ever larger draglines. Margaret. Even as production climbed again in 1967.html?start=5 6/8 . Kenneth. federal and state governments clamored for strict changes in mine safety— with no let up in continued curbs on pollution.577 to 46. World War II and the Cold War was splintering. By the middle of the decade. was in the process of being constructed. emissions and strip mining. He also initiated five lawsuits against the UMWA in federal court. Charlotte dead. however. Though new contracts were signed for both bituminous and anthracite in 1966. an explosion and fire at the Consol No. the first of two on order. and his 25-year-old daughter. In the October 1962 issue. The bodies were discovered January 5. However. or 8. Leading to Sweeping Federal Legislation Safety-wise. again were the No. by Yablonski’s son.
thoroughly treating the possibilities of longwall mining. Ill. and. were deployed to keep up with the behemoth. the huge machine became a veritable celebrity in and of itself.B. the Wesfaila Lunen unit produced some 325. In the December 1966 issue. Utah. Coal Age published a Longwall Mining operating guide. The best shift thus far had produced over 700 tons with the longwall. width of the cut is 2 ft. production on a tons per shift basis more than doubled while tons per face man was approximately 60% greater than conventional operations.coalage. chief engineer. the magazine reported that new TVA coal contracts would include and set reclamation requirements. Offering up the pro’s and con’s of the new technology. A fleet of 240-ton Caterpillar dieselelectric coal haulers. powered at both ends and operated from one of two cabs. operations.000 tons—climaxing a record year of 2.905 tons. minimizing noise and vibration were of concern to companies operating near populated areas.” While the greatest savings was reported in timbering. the equipment needed and available.” In February 1965. where a second longwall planer.730 tons—in a record month— 340.000 ft deep had been mined out. All the greenery made for some impressive images. Reviewed and featured in the February 1965. the editors used hundreds of color images to illustrate the potential beauty of post-mined lands. mines of the Kaiser Steel Co. In the September 1963 issue. accelerated an environmental backlash. A year later. August 1966 and December 1967 issues. But all the attention and publicity associated with the new dragline machines. Production records were toppling at the time as the shovel. a British Jeffrey-Diamond face conveyer. equipped with selfadvancing hydraulic roof-support units. Perhaps the most famous of them all. www. New reclamation and environmental standards were being adopted. either mixing the ingredients at the holesite or buying pre-mixed products.most operators used AN-FO to break overburden.1/18/13 100 Years with Coal Age . coupled with an increase in stripping operations. once stripped. had been installed at the Kopperston mine. was the massive Captain shovel at the new 1964 Southwestern Illinois Coal Corp. River King wound up 1962 with a record day—17. swimming holes. Horsepower of the shearer was 125.000 tpd or 500.750.950. By 1966. wide. “Providing a big part of the answer to difficult mining conditions…the unit has now marked up more than 5 mo of successful operation at the Sunnyside No. 3 mine…Productivity figures already achieved are expected to be bettered significantly when the unit completes the present 308-ft wall experimental section and goes into service on the 750-ft wall that will be standard for future work. post-mined lands were incredibly malleable and could be transformed into all sorts of recreational areas.000 tons per month. in the May 1962 issue. “Comparing the cost of the planer section with that of a continuous miner shows that face cost on the planer is approximately 33% less while repair and maintenance runs about 25% less. But.1960-1969 Peabody River King mine. the magazine reported on how a Britishmade face unit and self-advancing roof support system were being employed for increased productivity and greater coal recovery at the Sunnyside. mining consultant. May and December 1966 issues. Coal Age published several features about new longwall technology. and 45% in total section labor and materials over conventional mobile loading at another. a postmine plan was becoming vital to an operation’s success. millions of Americans then and now have enjoyed the benefits of recreated reclaimed lands. a 215 ft boom length and 33. to be sure.php/features/2284-100-years-with-coal-age. Eastern Associated. The Marion 6360 shovel.000 tpd of raw coal. what to do with post-mined land became a serious concern throughout the decade— at times the debate overshadowed the stripping operations themselves. Congress and various state legislatures were not so accepting. wrote a long piece explaining the modern history of longwall production and discussed how it could be adapted to U. Various bills would be put forth. Albert Evans.910. discussed the longwall progress made at his company. operations. wheel excavator and two 30-yd draglines were removing 3. And the target for 1963 was 3 million tons. Eastern has achieved notable reductions in mining cost—33% in face labor and 25% in maintenance at one mine over continuous miners.S. During its first 10 months of operation. Prior to moving any dirt. D. “land restoration became integrated more and more into overall mining plans as operators strove to meet the requirements of stricter reclamation and anti-pollution laws…. The Longwall Miracle: Thanks to Hydraulics and the West Germans Beginning in December 1961. will have a rich future in the U.000 tons from 29 faces in four mines in three seams.000 cu yd per month to make possible recovery of 17. housing projects and cattle farms. with the federal government establishing minimum regulations that states could then improve upon.5 million cu yd of overburden each month so as to sustain a loading rate of 20. From 1966 through the end of the decade. weight with the plow was 8 tons.” In August 1963. the editors repeated that longwall mining. Already a concern throughout the 1940s and 1950s. associate editor Daniel Jackson Jr. and a Dowty Roofmaster support system.” reported the magazine in the February 1967 issue. by the end of the decade. fishing lakes. once adapted. to both the landscape and human activities. February 1966. Coal Age returned to Eastern. reported on how a newly installed longwall unit at the Cannelton Coal Co. Captain mine in Percy. In the September 1965 issue.html?start=5 7/8 . In the April. featuring a 180-cu yd dipper.000 tons and one panel with a 340-ft face and 3.S. In fact. many of which were later wrapped up and bundled into sweeping surface mine legislation in the mid-1970s. Calling strip mining the “Total Benefit Industry” producers joined in with the magazine in advertising their best reclamation jobs. roof action and servicing techniques.com/index. “As a result of producing 2. The unit was equipped with an Anderton shearer-loader with 5-ft drum 2 ft 3 in. After first profiling Eastern’s experience. Under average conditions. However. was expected to remove 4. however. Shupe. in the long run. the coal and power industry would wage a public relations campaign to convince the American public that strip mining was actually beneficial.000 total horsepower.
1/18/13 100 Years with Coal Age .com/index.1960-1969 mine had helped make a marginal coal more profitable by reducing overall production costs. The second shift. (and possibly the world) to date. cutting the cost of the moves. the editors placed the record setting Barnes & Tucker longwall unit on the cover.coalage. 1968. And the third shift sewed up the shooting match with a final 10 passes.” wrote the editors in the February 1967 issue. 24 mine near Nicktown. first shift got the ball rolling by completing 10 passes along the 460-ft face with the Joy/Eickhoff EW 130 single-drum shearer/loader. Operating experience at one mine demonstrated the value of limiting the length of the face and deepening the panel to provide an equivalent block of coal. On Feb. In 1966. for any longwall operating in the U. Company officials believe that this is the highest production.Next >> MINING MEDIA E&MJ EQUIPO MINERO THE ASIA MINER C&D WORLD LOBOS SERVICES © 2012 Mining Media International All rights reserved. For the May 1968 issue. in three consecutive shifts. and brining them more in line with the costs of moving conventional sections. “further experience in longwalling led to improved methods for moving equipment from one setup to another.php/features/2284-100-years-with-coal-age. “Mining 5.html?start=5 8/8 . management was thrilled. Pa. not to be outdone.” << Prev . 15.270 tons in 24 hr from a single longwall face may be a new record that Barnes & Tucker Co. Needless to say. can claim at its Lancashire No.S. www. followed this with an impressive 14 passes.
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