Harrison's comments underscore those of other industry experts predicting the continued decline of coal, despite President Trump's efforts to revive the industry. In March, "Robert Murray, owner of the world’s largest private coal company, said he told Trump to 'temper his expectations' about reversing coal’s decline. And in May, Gary Cohn, director of the White House's National Economic Council, told reporters that coal 'doesn’t make sense anymore,'" Chris D'Angelo reports for The Huffington Post.
Jacksonville-based CSX had a strong second quarter overall, but profits from coal were about half what they were in the second quarter six years ago. "U.S. power generators are building more plants fuelled by cheap natural gas, displacing old coal-fired unites. Falling costs for solar and wind energy have also eaten into coal's market share," Meyer notes.
The company's stock dropped about 6 percent following the announcement, perhaps also because Harrison said during the conference call that he doesn't plan to stay at CSX long. "I'm a short-timer here," he said. I'm the interim person that's going to try to get this company to the next step and good foundation." He also said that 700 more layoffs may be on the way, Will Robinson reports for the Jacksonville Business Journal.