Once the engine of American energy production, the U.S. coal industry has seen a significant decline in recent years from over regulation which has stifled growth, and forced the closure of many coal mines across the country in rural communities. However, good news is on the horizon, as global demand continues to increase as more countries modernize and industrialize their economies. Just today, a Pennsylvania mining company announced that they would be selling roughly 700,000 tons of coal to Ukraine by the end of 2017, further expanding the reach of American energy exports.
So far this year American coal exports have jumped more than 60 percent due to increased demand in Asia and Europe. Our shipments to the United Kingdom have gone up 175 percent, and our shipments to France have gone up 100 percent. This massive increase in coal exports helps to bolster our position as an international energy powerhouse, bringing us closer to “energy dominance” and reducing the influence of other major players, such as Russia, around the world.
The benefits from increased coal exports doesn’t stop on the international stage, though, as profound effects can be found right here at home. Dilapidated industries can be revitalized with this new increase in coal demand, bringing thousands of jobs to bereft economies and boosting local communities. Both coal mining industry, and shipping industries like the Association for American Railroads, will see the benefits of higher demand for coal.
As the United States continues to increase its energy exports to allies abroad, the benefits are apparent right here. With the demand for coal skyrocketing around the world, our miners and rail workers are returning to work. Local economies area once again feeling the benefits of a robust energy economy, and the GAIN coalition is glad to see this revitalization of the coal industry.