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COVID-19: The days are numbered for the United States coal industry

Citation:Mining Global Date:2020-4-23 10:08:47


The coal industry in the US is seeking financial support from the government following the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused a further decline in the industry.

In the past decade, the use and demand for coal has tanked amid competition from low-cost natural gas and expanded renewable energy sources. As schools and businesses have shut off during the United States’ lockdown, demand from coal-firing plants has dropped even further, so low that Travis Deti, head of the Wyoming Mining Association, has been working the phones to try and strike a deal with the nation's government. By the end of 2020, the annual demand for electricity across the United States of America is expected to be 3% lower than last year.

Due to concerns regarding the spread of the virus, some coal operations have slowed or paused operations altogether. In the most productive coal region in the U.S. — Wyoming and Montana’s Powder River Basin — companies are staggering shifts and running more buses to and from mining towns to create more space between workers. Although those mines are still operating, numerous companies have temporarily suspended operations across Pennsylvania, Illinois and Virginia to help slow the spread of Coronavirus. As a result of all this, a lot of miners are only working two or three days a week at present.


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