Report: U.S. coal market expected to drop

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Report: U.S. coal market expected to drop

KGMI News Reporting
By Tracy Ellis

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The reason why coal producers want to ship coal to Asia from places like Cherry Point is made pretty clear in a new report.

While the U.S. coal mining industry is projected to see a modest and short-lived rebound in 2014, mining output is foretasted to fall by more than 25 million tons in 2015 according to the Energy Information Administration.

Analysts say that’s when rules for mercury pollution will kick in, prompting utilities to shutter some coal-burning power plants rather than make costly upgrades.

Shipping more coal to power-hungry Asia has been held up as a potential savior for the industry.

Those hopes haven’t panned out as plans for several new coal ports on the west coast are stalled.

The government projects U.S. coal exports to drop in both 2014 and 2015.