More than half the coal mines in the United States have closed over the past 10 years, reflecting a broad shift away from expensive coal-fired power generation to cheaper sources of power such as natural gas, wind and solar energy.
Coal production peaked in 2008 and has fallen by more than one-third since then, according to data from the Energy Department.
But the U.S. is selling more coal abroad, according to foreign trade data from the Census Bureau. Coal exports last year were 116 million short tons, the highest level in five years.
The United States exported 15 percent of the nation’s coal production last year with countries in Asia among some of the biggest buyers. The remaining 85 percent was sold mostly to the domestic power sector and industrial customers.
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- On March 28, 2019