A coal industry roundtable discussion left some people feeling more optimistic about Wyoming coal industry than they had been before. During last Thursday’s meeting – called “Powder River Basin Coal: Domestic Challenges and International Opportunities” – presenters discussed everything from new regulations, to growing exports, and domestic issues. Tim Considine of UW’s Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy helped organize the event. He says he was surprised by some of what he heard.
“I actually am a bit more optimistic on the regulatory, also on the export side, that these coal exports may indeed ramp up in the future.”
Exports, mostly to Asia and Europe, are at a record high and will likely grow as domestic use decreases. Considine cautions that regulations aren’t the only thing responsible for domestic decrease in coal use, gas prices are outcompeting coal for cheap energy.