Coal

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U.S. firms face mounting risks over coal investments

The New York headquarters of the BlackRock investment management firm on Friday, February 5, 2016.
The New York headquarters of the BlackRock investment management firm on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. Photo: Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

U.S. investment firm BlackRock owns more coal reserves through its investments in publicly listed companies, shares and bonds in coal plant developers than anyone else in the world, according two new pieces of analysis.

The big picture: The U.S. holds over 35% of institutional investment for the coal industry, the largest share in the world. And in recent years, U.S. investors have started to lag behind leading European institutions when it comes to climate-friendly investing: AXA, UBS and c all have policies in place to restrict investments in thermal coal and offer far less coal-intense index funds.

Coal-friendly Joe Manchin named top Democrat on Senate energy panel

Joe Manchin, incoming top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 
Joe Manchin, incoming top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 

Senate Democrats on Tuesday elevated West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin as the ranking Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee despite fierce opposition from some progressive groups over Manchin’s support for and campaign contributions from coal and oil-and-gas companies.

Why it matters: These critics say Manchin is too close to the industries he will oversee and that he may impede the passage of future bold climate change proposals. Last week, in what may have been an effor to diminish those concerns, Manchin voted against President Trump's choice for a seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over the nominee's views on climate change.

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