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Coal production may have reached a point without a return, per projection



  The Black Thunder mine in Wright, Wyoming, produces 90 million tons of coal a year, distributed by rail across the country.

The Black Thunder mine in Wright, Wyoming, produces 90 million tons of coal per year, which is distributed by rail across the country.

Robb Kendrick

In President Trump's Union Statute last night, he did not mention coal once, while eating oil and natural gas "released a revolution in American energy."

The president, who has undoubtedly challenged the science of climate warnings, was not expected to address renewable energy or climate change. However, his omission of litter in his speech last night was remarkable, as he vigorously fueled bringing back coal.

A year ago, in his 201

8 state for the Union's address, the president claimed that his administration "ended the war against beautiful, pure coal."

If the war on coal is over, peace for coal is a curious look.

2018 was a particularly bleak year for the industry. Coal capacity departures actually doubled in 2018 compared to 2017, and coal production was largely flat. Recent projections from the Danish Energy Agency do not show the decisive end of the coal industry ever, but they show that coal may have reached a point without a return, despite all the reversals of environmental rules proposed or adopted by the Trump administration.

Refund Point

Last week, the EIA figures reported that more than half of the US coal mines operated in 2008 were closed by 2017. Coal production has fallen slowly, as the first coal mines to be taken out of service are generally the older and less productive.

Some coal mines in eastern United States have been raised by their ability to export thermal and metallurgical coal to countries such as China and India, which still burn coal at a huge price. But to a large extent, the loss of coal-burning power plants to gas burning plants in North America has translated into reduced coal demand.

This difference in technology appears to have significantly changed the energy forecasts from the EIA. As the Financial Times points out, the EIA projections now show that coal production is expected to fall faster over the next 30 years than it did during Obama's pure power plan.

It is in 2017 that the 30-year-old projections of the EIA took into account the new Trump administration's promise to abolish Obama's pure power plan, which released a carbon footprint on a governmental basis that would have particularly needled coal-fired power plants. The EIA offer provided two scenarios: one where the Clean Power Plan was revoked, and one where it was not revoked.

If the Clean Power Plan was abolished, MVA believed that the coal industry would still outperform more than 800 million tons of coal annually by 2050. If the Clean Power Plan were not abolished, the coal industry would produce around 600 million tons of coal a year by 2050. [19659013] Accelerated two years, and the Trump administration has proposed the abolition of the Clean Power Plan and the replacement of the Reasonable Clean Energy Rule rule, bringing most of the regulatory burden related to coal-fired emissions. Today, the Clean Power Plan is no longer a major threat to the coal industry. But the EIA projections look a lot like the Clean Power Plan is actually being enforced. Here, the EIA's baseline forecast is that the US coal industry will produce less than 600 million tons of coal per year by 2050.

If the oil and gas industry falls for some reason, coal production is estimated to be slightly higher, but if new technology makes oil – and gas production cheaper over the next 30 years, coal production will be considerably slimmer.

The EIA projections do not take into account future climate-related policies, which can further add the screws to one of the most carbon-intensive fuels used by the United States.


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