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As France, Germany and Italy chastised President Trump for rejecting the Paris climate accord in June and mocked the U.S. for turning its back on the environment, their nations were busy importing record amounts of American coal.
The U.S., federal data show, is seeing something of a coal renaissance, but the boom — partly the result of Mr. Trump’s aggressive policies to roll back Obama-era regulations on the fuel — largely has benefited foreign markets. Some of the biggest buyers are also the biggest critics of the Trump administration’s climate policy, including China and leading European nations that now claim to be the world’s leaders on fighting global warming.
US - Year - Tons - Coal - Increase
The U.S. last year produced 773 million short tons of coal, 45 million more than 2016. That was the largest year-to-year increase in nearly two decades, government numbers show.
But that didn’t equal increased use at home, with more coal than ever heading overseas.
US - Coal - Consumption - Demand - US
“Even though U.S. coal consumption decreased, higher worldwide demand for U.S. coal led to greater coal production,” the federal Energy Information Administration said in a recent report.
Indeed, the U.S. consumed 719 million short tons of coal last year, a drop of 12 million from 2016.
Exports - Tons - Percent - Increase - Year
Total exports in 2017, however, shot up to 95 million short tons, a 58 percent increase over the previous year. About 31 million short tons of that went to Asia, nearly double the amount from 2016. China alone imported 2.8 million short tons through September 2017 — a wild increase over the previous year’s 205,000.
Total exports to Europe reached 40 million short tons — 13 million more than in 2016.
Markets - Europe - Nations - Leaders - Mr
Some of the most fertile markets in Europe are nations with leaders that have been the most outspoken in bashing Mr. Trump for pulling out of the global Paris climate pact, an Obama-era agreement that the current administration...
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