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Thu Apr 12, 2012, 05:40 PM

US Coal Exports Surge to Highest Level Since 1991

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/coal-exports-surge-highest-level-1991-16107959

U.S. coal exports reached their highest level in two decades last year as strong demand from Asia and Europe offered an outlet for a fuel that is falling from favor at home.

U.S. Department of Energy data analyzed by The Associated Press reveal that coal exports topped 107 million tons of fuel worth almost $16 billion in 2011. That's the highest level since 1991, and more than double the export volume from 2006.

Much of the increase went to slake the thirst of power-hungry markets in Asia, where rapid development has sparked what mining company Peabody Energy calls a "global coal super cycle" that heralds renewed interest in the fuel.


That seems to follow the expected pattern. Nat. gas is dirt-cheap right now, so we're burning that instead and selling the more valuable coal to China and India.

So much for US action on slowing global warming, when we're simply exporting our carbon emissions to other nations.

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Reply US Coal Exports Surge to Highest Level Since 1991 (Original post)
NickB79 Apr 2012 OP
NickB79 Apr 2012 #1
Dead_Parrot Apr 2012 #2
joshcryer Apr 2012 #4
joshcryer Apr 2012 #3

Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 05:42 PM

1. Wow, this jem popped out at me

And Japan bought almost 7 million tons of U.S. coal last year a 119 percent increase as the nation sought alternatives to nuclear power after an earthquake and tsunami prompted the Fukushima nuclear complex meltdown.


Ouch. That's a lot of carbon, and Japan will likely keep burning coal for years to come now.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:13 PM

2. There's a shocker

Sigh.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:36 AM

4. Close to 21 tons of CO2.

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:35 AM

3. Yeah, it's basic market dynamics in action. We're not going to magically leave coal...

...in the ground simply because we don't burn it ourselves. When you look at the projections it's clear that globally coal use will continue to rise (thanks to the ineffectual COP18). And since the United States is one of the largest producers of coal on the planet, we will continue to dig it up.

As I maintain, we are not going to leave a resource in the ground if it is profitable, we might not even leave it in the ground if it is not profitable (ie, we might subsidize its extraction because it provides jobs and the like*)

*Technically we are already subsidizing it in external costs, but I mean even more than that, subsidizing its extraction because alternatives are actually cheaper, which currently they are not.

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