The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Domestic coal consumption is continuing to shrink in the U.S., where a combination of low natural gas prices, tightening environmental regulations and the falling price of renewable energy generation are pushing utilities away from conventional coal plants.
As a result, coal producers in the U.S. are looking abroad to find willing buyers.
Coal represents a mere fraction of U.S. energy exports, currently around five percent. Nonetheless, skyrocketing exports constitute a noteworthy trend.
In 2005, the U.S. exported 50 million short tons of coal, while in 2012 it exported 126 million short tons. Half of U.S. coal exports go to Europe, 26 percent are sent to Asia and around 10 percent go to North and South America each.
In Washington, conservative leaders have once again renewed their push to loosen fossil fuel export regulations. Sen. Barrasso (R-WY) representing a major coal-producing state, called Thursday for President Obama to allow more natural gas, coal and oil to be shipped abroad.
Sen. Barrasso and his allies have seemingly spent little time considering the environmental consequences of extracting and exporting even more dirty fossil fuels, instead preferring to emphasize the job-creation benefits of expanding the energy sector.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Tara Lohan
In 2017 the Thomas fire raged through 281,893 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, California, leaving in its wake a blackened expanse of land, burned vegetation, and more than 1,000 destroyed buildings.
By Danielle Nierenberg and Katherine Walla
As the holiday season ramps up for many across the world, Food Tank is highlighting 15 children's books that will introduce young eaters, growers and innovators to the world of food and agriculture. Authors and organizations are working to show children the importance — and fun — of eating healthy, nutritious and delicious food, growing their own produce, and giving food to others in need.
By Lauren Wolahan
For the first time ever, the UN is building out a roadmap for curbing carbon pollution from agriculture. To take part in that process, a coalition of U.S. farmers traveled to the UN climate conference in Madrid, Spain this month to make the case for the role that large-scale farming operations, long criticized for their outsized emissions, can play in addressing climate change.