U.S. Coal Industry Suffers, while Coal Use Grows Dramatically in India and China, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

America’s coal industry has been suffering a serious downturn.  Federal regulations have encouraged electric utilities, a major user of coal, to either install extremely expensive environmental controls on coal plants or switch to cleaner-burning natural gas for fuel.  Today’s low price for natural gas is accelerating this trend.  Market prices for coal have plummeted.  Many mines have ceased production, and layoffs have been significant.  However, in 2017, the incoming Trump administration loosened some Obama-era restrictions on coal-fired utilities, providing at least some relief to the coal industry.  Exports of U.S. coal to markets including Europe have also provided some relief.…

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