This news will please President Donald Trump and the Republicans (GOP) who aimed to “put coal country back to work” with House Joint Resolution 38. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that US coal exports have increased over the past six months.
“Coal exports for the first quarter of 2017 were 58% higher than in the same quarter last year, with steam coal exports increasing by 6 million short tons (MMst) and metallurgical coal exports increasing by 2 MMst. Most of these exports were shipped from Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico ports,” read an EIA news release.
Coal exports jumped 33% from around 28.5 to 43 MMst for Q4 2016 plus Q1 2017 in comparison with the same timeframe last year. Also, US coal production reached 197 million tons in Q1 2017 up from 173 million tons in Q1 2016 (+13.87%) after two years of a large annual production drop from 1,000 MMst in 2014 to just below 750 MMSt in 2016 (-25%).
From 2009 to 2015, US coal production has declined by over 177,000,000 tons, over 600 coal mines have closed and 36,000 workers have lost their job.