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Rural Blog: U.S. coal use to generate electricity falls to lowest level since 1984, EIA report says

Coal consumption for electric power in the U.S. has fallen to its lowest since 1984, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Natural gas is a cleaner, more flexible fuel, and has become cheaper; economists say that makes coal, compared to gas, the most expensive in 40 years. The EIA Today in Energy report released Friday showed that in 2016, coal consumption has dropped 35 percent...

Rural Blog: Cheap natural gas, not air-pollutuion regulation, is main reason for coal’s decline

Cheaper natural gas, not regulation of air pollution by President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency, is the main reason for coal’s decline, says a study by Case Western Reserve University published in The Electricity Journal. The study, which used data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, academia, specialized energy consultants, Wall Street analysts and publicly available...

Rural Blog: Feds’ forecast shows major decline in coal production with or without Clean Power Plan

Appalachian coal production is forecast to decline by 79 million tons by 2040 under President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, and would decline by 50 million tons without the plan, says a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The report “shows that coal production in the Appalachian region, which has declined steeply since 2000, is projected to see the smallest reduction in production...

Rural Blog: Coal production in first quarter of 2016 hits lowest level since 1981 strike year

Coal production in the first three months of 2016 was the lowest quarterly level since 1981, when the industry had a major strike, but the decline appears to be accelerating. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said that coal production declined 17 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015, the largest quarter-to-quarter drop since 1984. The biggest proximate cause was a warmer-than-expected...

Rural Blog: Natural gas apparently overtakes coal as main power source for electricity in the U.S.

Natural gas in 2015, for the first time, appears to have overtaken coal as the top power source for electricity in the U.S., Scott DiSavino reports for Reuters. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration through October 2015 shows that power plants used more gas than coal to produce electricity in five of the 10 months, including the last four—July, August, September and October—that...