US coal is enjoying a short-term resurgence under Joe Biden, who is keen to limit the use of fossil fuels and pledged big carbon emission reductions at the COP26 conference.
- The amount of coal used in the US power stations this year would increase nearly 20% to 521m short tons, allowing the fuel to beat nuclear as the second-biggest source of American electricity.
- Awkwardly for President Biden, the increase in coal use defies a downward trend that persisted even during four years under Donald Trump who had pledged to revive the American coal industry.
- The increase in coal utilization comes as G20 leaders agreed on a deal to end international financing of coal power, but fell short of agreeing on an end to domestic coal power in their countries.
The expansion in US coal use this year would lead to an 8% surge in energy-related carbon emissions. Coal’s revival is partly an outcome of changes in US natural gas production.