The head of a Pennsylvania-based energy provider said Sunday that the Trump administration’s environmental agenda has allowed him to open a second coal company since the election.
“I think it’s a direct link,” Corsa Coal Corp. CEO George Dethlefsen told Fox News reporters, referring to the upturn in the coal industry’s fortunes and a slew of environmental regulations President Donald Trump recently peeled back.
“The war on coal is over,” he added. Dethlefsen opened his first office this year in January near Pittsburgh, which is expected to generate as many as many as 100 new jobs. A second mine was shuttered five years ago but is expected to reopen in early 2018.
Trump made resuscitating the coal industry a key part of his presidential campaign.
Coal saw a slight rejuvenation recently. Coal exports were nearly 60 percent higher in the first few months of the Trump administration than at the same time last year, according to federal data.
Exports declined dramatically during the last half of the Obama administration, but now economics and political factors have collided to put some wind in the sales of the once-fluttering industry.
Coal companies exported more than 22 million short tons of steam and metallurgical coal between January and March 2017, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported in July.
EIA projects “coal exports to slow in the coming months, with total 2017 exports forecast at 72 [million short tons (MMst)], 11 MMst (19%) higher than the 2016 level.” The boom in coal exports started in October 2016 as prices increased.
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