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David Roberts: Exports to China May Not Save U.S. Coal Industry After All

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The other day, we highlighted an article by David Roberts of Grist, about how the U.S. coal industry is in "big trouble as...production costs rise."  This morning, Roberts had a followup which is also worth reading, entitled Exporting to China may not save the U.S. coal industry after all.  The key points are:

  • "Coal consumption has been rising and will continue to rise in China, in absolute terms" but "there’s reason to think the rate of growth may be slower than expected, and consequently that exports may not be the sure thing U.S. coal companies need."
  • "Efforts to curtail [Chinese] emissions are also likely to constrain coal consumption."
  • "At least in the short term, there appears to be a global oversupply of thermal coal."
  • Finally, "there are at least glimmers of hope that the rise of coal in China is not as inexorable as typically believed."

Let's hope.