Pennsylvania’s coal production has increased more than 20 percent since the end of former President Barack Obama’s final term in office, according to a weekly report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The state’s coal production for the year was up 20.4 percent from the same period last year as the industry continues a slow but noticeable increase in fortunes. National coal production, meanwhile, has also seen a dramatic improvement, the report notes.
Production has ratcheted up 35.1 million tons since January, a marked improvement since September of 2016, when it was at 29.2 million tons, according to the agency’s data.
Total U.S. production was 548 million short tons as of last week, a 13.5 percent increase from the same period in 2016.
Coal exports for the first quarter of 2017 have also rebounded during the past year. They were 58 percent higher than in the same quarter of 2016, the EIA reported earlier this year. Most of the coal is sold to European or Asian markets, where demand is rapidly rising.
President Donald Trump centered the bulk of his presidential campaign on revamping a beleaguered coal industry. It had declined during the Obama’s eight years in office, thanks in part to a combination of a surging natural gas sector and renewable energy expansion.
Trump and many conservative analysts believe that Obama’s so-called war on coal also contributed to the coal industry’s downturn. They argue that a wave of climate rules and regulation from the previous presidential administration forced coal producers into scuttling their power plants.
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