Soaring international demand for energy is driving up U.S. prices of coal, reports The New York Times in a good big picture piece, “An Export in Solid Supply.”
For coal producers, the new demand abroad is good news at a time when coal is under political attack at home. More than 50 proposed coal-fired power plants were delayed or canceled over the last year because of concerns over greenhouse gas emissions.
“This export boom right now is the difference between slow growth in our markets and hyper-expansion in our markets,” said Gregory H. Boyce, chairman and chief executive of Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal company. “You have two billion-plus people looking for a better standard of living. The world is energy-short and the U.S. coal sector is beginning to fill that gap.”
So even if the United States hogties its own energy production by restricting carbon dioxide emissions, the rest of the world will continue to expand its own coal consumption? Well, what do you know.
Highlight: An amazing photo of an 80-foot-high wall of coal in the Power River Basin of Wyoming.
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