US Coal Exports
Exports Economic Contributions Report
Jul 18 2017

Coal exports exceeded expectations at start of year (Billings Gazette)

Coal exports exceeded expectations at start of year

U.S. coal exports rose sharply in early 2017 amid increased demand in Asia and Europe.

The U.S. Department of Energy said Tuesday that exports are up by 8 million tons to 22.3 million tons through March.

That’s a 58 percent jump over the 14.1 million tons exported during the same period in 2016. The increase comes after five years of declines.

Exporting Wyoming coal has long been an idea on the backburner for state leaders eager to find more places to sell the Powder River Basin rock. But the economics simply haven’t lined up. Only Cloud Peak Energy, the Gillette-based company with mines in northern Wyoming and across the border in Montana, has plans to export to Asia this year. The company has 3.3 million tons of exports under contract for the year. It sent 0.5 million tons across seas in the first three months of the year.

Other companies operating in Wyoming have shown interest in developments like the Millennium Bulk export terminal in Longview, Washington, which if completed would open up another conduit to send U.S. coal to Asia. The terminal was first proposed in 2012 and has experienced repeated delays in permitting and pushback from environmental opponents. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is set to release a final environmental review of the project later this year.

Export volumes in the first quarter of the year were up most significantly through ports in Norfolk, Virginia, and New Orleans. Top destinations for U.S. coal were the Netherlands, South Korea and India.

Despite the increase, volumes remain well below industry expectations when plans were announced over the past decade to build or expand coal ports in Oregon, Louisiana, Washington state and California.

Most of those projects have stalled or been canceled. Federal officials say there’s still more export capacity than needed.
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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