Stories

Why Trump's coal comeback pledge is such a longshot

Steve Helber / AP

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,

quotes

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.