US Coal Exports
Exports Economic Contributions Report

Building America’s economy while supporting world development through coal exports is an activity conducted with high standards for environmental responsibility.

What are Advanced Coal Technologies?

Advanced coal technologies — also referred to as clean coal technologies — are state-of-the-art emission control devices and boiler technologies that over several decades have led to steady increases in energy efficiency and lower emissions from coal electricity generation.

Environmental Benefits of Advanced Coal Technologies

Today’s power plants emit more than 90 percent fewer pollutants (SO2, NOx, particulates and mercury)/ unit of electricity generated than the plants they replace from the 1970s. High efficiency, low emissions (HELE) technologies eliminate nearly all regulated emissions and significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

Examples of Advanced Coal Technologies

In addition to what exists today, other technological advancements can further increase efficiency and reduce emissions. Ultra-super critical technologies are continually being improved, resulting in units operating at even higher efficiencies than the current ultra-supercritical systems, potentially up to an efficiency rate above 50 percent. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology also holds promise. CCS captures CO2 emissions from the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation and industrial processes and stores them in geologic formations or deep in the ocean where they dissolve under pressure.

CCS technologies under development include: post-combustion capture from flue gas using an amine solvent and chilled ammonia; pre-combustion capture using IGCC to isolate and capture CO2 before it is released; and oxy-coal combustion using pure oxygen in the boiler to significantly reduce the dilution of CO2 in the exhaust gas stream. Like renewable energy sources such as wind and solar in their early days, these technologies require substantial investment to become commercially viable, and should receive the same kinds of investment, policy parity and support.

Coal is an abundant fuel source that is relatively inexpensive to produce and convert to useful energy.
A major benefit of coal is that it is readily available. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s most recent estimate is that U.S. recoverable coal reserves would last about 280 years.  
  • “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

Count on Coal

National Mining Association

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