Two stories caught my eye that help explain why Trump's pledge to revive the U.S. coal industry is such a heavy lift. A lengthy piece that fronts Sunday's Washington Post biz section says some good signs—higher prices, a boost in deliveries—probably won't change underlying trends. Why?
- The big open-pit mines where the industry is focused in Wyoming and elsewhere need fewer workers than Appalachian mines.
- Cheap gas, cheap gas, cheap gas from the fracking boom.
- Softer than expected Asian demand.
- Trump has shown "no signs" of backing big federal cash for climate-friendly coal tech.
The Financial Times, meanwhile,
the International Energy Agency chief predicting that Trump's plans to ease infrastructure permitting could boost U.S. gas exports further, creating a drag on Chinese and Indian coal needs.