Coal production will hit a four-decade low this year and continue to fall next year, according to the Trump administration, despite President Trump’s vows to revive the dying industry.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration projected this week that coal production will hit a 40-year low in 2019 and fall further in 2020 while renewable energy like wind power will continue to rise.
According to the EIA, “annual generation from wind will surpass hydropower generation for the first time in 2019.”
As a result of the increased use of renewable energy and coal plant closures, coal production is projected to fall by 7% this year and another 8% in 2020.
Trump trade war may doom coal exports too:
The fall of the coal industry is not limited to consumption in the United States. Though coal exports briefly increased in 2018, they are down nearly 13% through the first four months of 2019.
The EIA projected that coal exports will fall 15% this year and continue to drop in 2020.
A separate report released this week by Argus Media found that Trump’s trade war with China is the driving factor behind the fall of coal exports. China imposed a 25% tariff on coal imports in retaliation to Trump’s tariffs on Chinese products.
Trump in 2018: “The coal industry is back”
“The coal industry is back,” Trump declared at an event in West Virginia last year.
"Despite all of Mr. Trump’s efforts, the industry remains under heavy economic pressure from cheap natural gas and the rise of renewable energy," The New York Times reported. "Coal consumption has continued to decline, and production too was lower in the first three months of 2018 compared with last year. The economy added about 2,200 jobs in the coal sector from February 2017, Mr. Trump’s first full month in office, to July 2018 — a modest increase of about 4.3 percent."