King Coal is saying "Reports of my death may be premature":
http://www.wsj.com/articles/coal-jobs-g ... 1519473600
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Miners in Indiana and other states are getting a small lift from global markets: American companies are shipping more coal to Europe and Asia, helping to stop the yearslong drop in the number of U.S. mining jobs.
The latest job increase runs counter to the long-term decline in coal used to generate electricity in the U.S., as coal-fired power plants are closed in favor of plants that burn cheap, abundant and cleaner natural gas.
Exports of U.S. thermal coal used by utilities rose 117% to 42 million tons last year. That more than offset the 11-million-ton decline in coal used at U.S. power plants, which fell to 667.5 million tons last year, from 678.6 million tons in 2016. Coal accounted for 30% of U.S. electricity generation in 2016, compared with nearly 34% for natural gas.
The US$ has devalued against the € as well as concerns that "Vladimir The Great" could shut off the gas valve, appears to have favorably affected US exports of coal. After all, if your house is cold and the lights don't work, how worried are you about "global warming".
While not mentioned in the article, all here know there is only one reasonable and practical way to ship coal over land.