Why US Coal Production Collapsed to Lowest Level Since 1981

by Wolf Richter
Wolf Street

What’s next for “king coal” and bankrupt coal miners?

It was called “king coal” because it ruled! Coal-fired power plants were the cheapest way to generate electricity, based on capital costs and operating costs. And the US has plenty of coal. In the 1980s, over 55% of electricity generation was coal-fired. By 2000, it was down to 50%. Now it’s down to just over 30%, in second place, for the first time ever, behind natural gas.

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