Roulston Energy Partner on Coal’s Rising Importance Internationally

October 4, 2012

Energy policy is one of the big contrasts in this year’s presidential election and last nights debate gave a great sample of the difference in each candidate’s platform. The new regulations from the EPA and low natural gas prices created a decline of coal fire generation in the United States from 48% of the generation market in 2008 to a 35% share for the first six months of 2012. The decrease in demand and high capital investment and uncertainty associated withthe new EPA regulations have caused a rapidly rising rate of coal plants shutting down in the United States. That being said other countries around the world have looked to coal as an affordable energy resource. Russia’s coal production was raised substantially in 2011 to its highest levels since the Soviet Union in order to reduce its demand of natural gas, which it can then export to bring in revenues. European utilities are planning to add 10,600 megawatts of coal-fired capacity over the next four years in seven countries (over 6 times more than natural gas capacity) while China increased it’s coal consumption by 10% in 2011. The United States needs to find a balance between the environment and the economy to help revive the industry where we have the largest coal reserves in the world. A Romney victory would be very positive for mining companies like Peabody Energy (BTU), clean coal transportation companies such as Union Pacific Corporation (UNP), and anyone associated with the industry. If not the coal industry will continue to decline as the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards take effect in April 2015. To read the full article please visit

Thomas J. Pyle is the president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER). In this capacity, Pyle brings a unique backdrop of public and private sector experience to help manage IER’s Washington, DC-based staff and operations. He also helps to develop the organization’s free market policy positions and implement education efforts with respect to key energy stakeholders, including policymakers, federal agency representatives, industry leaders, consumer entities and the media. To read more about the Institute for Energy Research and their mission please visit

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