US Coal Exports
Exports Economic Contributions Report
Apr 01 2013

U.S. Coal Exports Increase (Real Clear Energy)

US Coal Exports Surge Again

It hasn’t taken long for US coal exports to bounce back to historically high levels. The original peak occurred in the early 1900s when exports to Europe were particularly high. Europe has always been our biggest export market with Canada, Brazil and Japan following generally in that order. But the category of “other” nations is also growing and accounts for much of the recent spurt.

The above graph, based on data from the Energy Information Administration, illustrates the pattern of coal exports over the last 20 years. Europe is at the bottom of the graph in blue.  Then comes Canada (red), Brazil (yellow), Japan (purple) and “other” (green).

Exports actually peaked at 110,000 short tons in 1991 and then fell rapidly. They revived somewhat in the late 1990s but remained low for most of the first decade of the 21st century. They revived in 2008. Then fell again in 2009.  The latest revival seems to have occurred for two reasons:

1) Demand has revived in Europe. This is largely due to Germany’s determination to give up on nuclear energy.  This has led to a revival of coal burning, with several new plants under construction. Other countries are also looking for an alternative to Russian natural gas.

2) The growth of other markets, mainly China and India. Both countries’ economies are growing by leaps and bounds while relying heavily on coal. China has just passed the US as the world’s largest coal burner and India will probably move into second place in the next few years.  Both are now importing from the United States.

See article here.

  • “The fact that we’re no longer in the age of energy scarcity – that we’re in the age of energy abundance – positions the United States in a totally different place. This gives access to affordable, reliable energy in the United States, and gives the U.S. a major competitive advantage.”
    – Dave Banks, Special Assistant to President Donald Trump for International Energy, June 2017
  • “It is in the national interest to promote clean and safe development of our Nation's vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation. Moreover, the prudent development of these natural resources is essential to ensuring the Nation's geopolitical security.”
    – Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, March 28, 2017
  • “Historically, U.S. companies seeking to expand their revenues focused first on increasing their number and share of U.S customers. For years, this focus served as a winning strategy for many of the most successful U.S. companies. Today, global economic trends make clear that successful companies are those that reach and sell to consumers outside U.S. borders and around the globe.”
    — 2011 National Export Strategy, U.S. Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee
  • “Federal regulatory agencies should not require climate change studies in the course of their permitting processes for proposed facilities. Coal will be consumed around the world regardless of U.S. trade policy. The only question is whether the coal is produced here in North America, where environmental standards are high, or elsewhere.”
    — U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, January 7, 2014
  • “At present 19% of the world’s population, 1.3 billion people, lack access to electricity and on New Policy Scenario projections there will still be 1 billion people without such access in 2030. To meet the UN Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2015, 395 million more people need access to electricity. There is a strong correlation between electrification and improvement in the United Nations’ Human Development Index.”
    — International Energy Agency, Coal Industry Advisory Board
  • “Access to electricity is strongly correlated with every measurable indicator of human development”
    — Berkeley Science Review, 2008

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