Saturday, July 29, 2017

From Reuters, Did Anyone See This Coming? Making America Great Again -- July 29, 2017

This article has so many story lines. I'm glad that Reuters was able to pick up on perhaps the most important one:
U.S. coal exports have jumped more than 60 percent this year due to soaring demand from Europe and Asia, according to a Reuters review of government data, allowing President Donald Trump's administration to claim that efforts to revive the battered industry are working.

The increased shipments came as the European Union and other U.S. allies heaped criticism on the Trump administration for its rejection of the Paris Climate Accord, a deal agreed by nearly 200 countries to cut carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels like coal.

The previously unpublished figures provided to Reuters by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed exports of the fuel from January through May totaled 36.79 million tons, up 60.3 percent from 22.94 million tons in the same period in 2016. While reflecting a bounce from 2016, the shipments remained well-below volumes recorded in equivalent periods the previous five years. 
Wow, talk about EU hypocrisy. 

Additional data points:
  • United Kingdom (aka Great Britain, includes England): 175% increase in US coal shipments 
  • France: doubled its US coal shipments
France? What happened: the country had suffered a series of nuclear power plant outages that required it and regional neighbors to rely more heavily on coal.

Overall exports from US:
  • to Europe: 16 million tons in first five months of 2017 vs 10.5 million in same period last year (the increase in the amount imported by Germany is striking; other unlinked sources)
  • to Asia: 12.3 million tons vs 6.2 million tons in y-o-y comparison
The article includes this:
Trump had campaigned on a promise to "cancel" the Paris deal and sweep away Obama-era environmental regulations to help coal miners, whose output last year sank to the lowest level since 1978. The industry has been battered for years by surging supplies of cheaper natural gas, brought on by better drilling technologies, and increased use of natural gas to fuel power plants.
His administration has since sought to kill scores of pending regulations he said threatened industries like coal mining, and reversed a ban on new coal leasing on federal lands.
President Trump has been in office barely six months, T+190 to be exact (six months plus 10 days).

Again, this is a Reuters article; not a press release from the White House.

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