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Section boss Carrey VanBuren watches as a continuous mining machine breaks through a wall of coal at the Horizon Coal Mine outside Helper, Utah. Photo: George Frey / AP

White House regulatory rollbacks and higher natural gas prices have brightened the mood of the U.S. coal industry, but it still faces major headwinds and production is not heading for a multi-year resurgence, the International Energy Agency said in its just-released five-year market report.

Why it matters: The analysis signals that while White House efforts to revive the coal industry might have some success in limiting its decline in the U.S., a return to the fuel's once-dominant position isn't in the offing.

IEA projects that U.S. production will be around 510 million tons of coal equivalent in 2022, around the same as current levels. Demand declines around one percent annually but the U.S. remains a "swing supplier" in global markets.

The U.S. industry's mood has "brightened" and some new production projects were announced in 2017, but that said . . .

  • "[S]luggish power demand, abundant gas supply and renewables growth are expected to continue to generate headwinds for coal use and limit the prospects for any resurgence in construction of new coal power plants," IEA notes.

Big picture: Global coal consumption is forecast to see very small growth of around 0.5 percent annually through 2022, while it loses ground slightly as a share of global energy supply as other sources are tapped to meet rising demand.

Overall, coal's share of worldwide power generation specifically is expected to be slightly under 36 percent in 2022, which is the lowest percentage since IEA began compiling statistics over 40 years ago.

Coal use in China, by far the world's largest coal consumer, peaked in 2013 and declines very slightly during the five-year analysis period, while India sees the largest increase in absolute terms as its coal-fired power generation is predicted to grow four percent annually through 2022.

Go deeper: A detailed summary of the report is available here.

Go deeper

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

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