Coal Age

MAR 2017

Coal Age Magazine - For more than 100 years, Coal Age has been the magazine that readers can trust for guidance and insight on this important industry.

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2016 2 May editor's note Reliable Power from Coal T he first question that I get from people who know my proud affiliation with coal is: Do you really think Trump can save the coal miners? Until recently, my answer was the same as it was prior to the election: "No. Trump alone can't save the coal business, but the opposing party said it would kill it." After seeing what's happening with job growth, howev- er, my feelings have changed. Obviously, with large quantities of low-cost gas, the gas and coal markets will remain soft for the next few years. If Trump follows through on plans to grow domestic production to make America energy self-sufficient, bringing more gas onto the market will not help the situation. In all likelihood, coal and gas will hold onto their one-third size slices of the electric- ity generating pie. But, what if the pie grew? The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that net power generation in the United States during December (the latest numbers available) increased 6.4% from the previous December. This occurred while the entire country experienced average temperatures. December 2015 was the warmest December on record, so a return to normal shows improvement. The other surprising stat from the EIA is that electricity generation from coal increased in all regions of the country compared to the previous year, while natural gas generation decreased in all parts of the country, except for the Northeast. This increase in coal generation with a subsequent decrease in natural gas generation is mainly attributed to an increase in natural gas prices that occurred in December 2016. A slight increase in gas prices had a significant impact on the coal burned during December. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 235,000 in February. The employment gains occurred in construction, private educational services, manufacturing, health care and mining. Yes, you read that correctly, "mining." Manufacturing added 28,000 jobs in February. Over the past three months, manufacturing has added 57,000 jobs. Employment in mining increased by 8,000 in February, with most of the gain occurring in support activities for mining (+6,000). Mining employment has risen by 20,000 since reaching a recent low in October 2016. While we are all excited to see the increase in mining-related jobs, it's the in- creases in manufacturing jobs that we need to watch. As we have demonstrated many times in Coal Age, the weather has a marginal impact on base-load electricity demand compared to the demand from industrial and manufacturing facilities run- ning around the clock. Those factories in Indiana and Michigan run on electricity. If the Trump administration could double or triple the jobs in the manufacturing sector by luring business back to the U.S., with tax incentives or shaming Tweets, the size of the energy pie will grow. A growing energy pie bodes well for coal. Electrical power from coal is clean and reliable. The coal industry will not need to take land for pipelines to satisfy increas- ing demand. The transportation and distribution network is already in place. Re- starting it creates more jobs, too. So, yes, the Trump administration could save the coal businesses and a lot of other businesses by repatriating jobs to the U.S. Coal Age, Volume 122, Issue 2, (ISSN 1040-7820) is published monthly ex- cept January, July and October, by Mining Media International, Inc., 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, Florida 32224 (mining-media. com). Periodicals postage paid at Jacksonville, FL, and additional mailing offices. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40845540. Canada return address: Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor ON N9A 6J5. Current and back issues, and an editorial calendar are available online at SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES: For subscriber services, email subscriptions@ or call 904.721.2925. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Free and controlled circulation to qualified subscrib- ers. Non-qualified persons may subscribe at the following rates: USA and Canada, 1 year, $68, 2 year, $116, 3 year, $162, Student, $16. Outside the USA and Canada, 1 year, $80, 2 year, $136, 3 year, $225 surface mail (1 year, $145, 2 year, $257 airmail delivery). ARCHIVES AND MICROFORM: This magazine is available for research and retrieval of selected archived articles from leading electronic databases and online search services, including Factiva, LexisNexis, and Proquest. For mi- croform availability, contact ProQuest at 800-521-0600 or +1.734.761.4700, or search the Serials in Microform listings at POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Coal Age, P.O. Box 828, Northbrook, IL 60065-828 USA. REPRINTS: Mining Media International, Inc., 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224 USA; phone: +1.904.721.2925, fax: +1.904.721.2930, PHOTOCOPIES: Authorization to photocopy articles for internal corporate, personal, or instructional use may be obtained from the Copyright Clear- ance Center (CCC) at +1.978.750.8400. Obtain further information at COPYRIGHT 2017: Coal Age, incorporating Coal and Coal Mining & Processing. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Steve Fiscor, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief BY STEVE FISCOR PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mining Media International, Inc. 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306 Jacksonville, Florida 32224 U.S.A. Phone: +1.904.721.2925 Fax: +1.904.721.2930 Editorial Publisher & Editor-in-Chief—Steve Fiscor, Associate Editor—Jennifer Jensen, Technical Writer—Jesse Morton, Contributing Editor—Russ Carter, European Editor—Simon Walker, Latin American Editor—Oscar Martinez, Graphic Designer—Tad Seabrook, Sales Midwest/Eastern U.S. & Canada, Sales—Victor Matteucci, Western U.S. & Canada, Sales—Mary Lu Buse, Scandinavia, UK and European Sales—Colm Barry, Germany, Austria & Switzerland Sales—Gerd Strasmann, Japan Sales—Masao Ishiguro, Show Manager— Michael Schoppenhorst, Production Manager—Dan Fitts,

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