Much to the chagrin of the opposition and the renewable energy zealots, President Donald Trump said it again, “clean, beautiful coal,” during his recent State of the Union Address. When he said those three words, did you cheer or cringe? Looking back across the last year, the coal industry can list several political victories. But, did President Trump actually follow through on campaign promises? Coal Age has your answers on p. 14.
As this year begins, the coal industry finds itself in the middle of a recovery. Total U.S. coal production grew by 58.5 million tons in 2017 to 786.9 million tons from 728.4 million tons in 2016, according to preliminary figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). That’s an 8% improvement after two years of very steep declines. Some states faired better than others and a growing export market certainly helped.