The EIA Today in Energy report released Friday showed that in 2016, coal consumption has dropped 35 percent from its peak in 2008, Myra Saefong writes for MarketWatch. Saefong notes that 93 percent of all coal consumed in the U.S. is for electric power. "The report was about the methods used to transport coal, but the information on how much coal utilities burned underscored the challenges facing the industry," notes Bill Estep of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
|U.S. Energy Information Administration chart; click on chart for larger version.|
Saefong notes, "Natural-gas prices have also fallen more sharply than coal so far this year. On Thursday, the price for July natural gas settled at $3.008 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. According to S&P Global Platts, spot prices for the Central Appalachia coal markets traded at $58.20 a ton at the end of 2016. It traded at $54.30 Thursday, so it is down about 6.7 percent year to date."