Sorry, Trump: Coal is going down, renewables are headed up


Here’s more evidence that Donald Trump’s 2016 promises to bring back coal jobs were a sham: A new report from the Trump administration predicts that the amount of coal production in the U.S. will keep dropping in coming years, while the percentage of energy coming from renewable sources will keep growing.

In its monthly report labeled a short-term energy outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration cut its projected estimate of coal production in 2019 by 8 percent. In 2020, coal production is expected to drop a further 4.5 percent. “EIA expects declines in both steam coal and metallurgical coal (used in the steel-making process) exports in 2019 and in 2020,” the report said. U.S. coal production in 2019 is expected to be 694.9 million tons, the lowest production since 670.16 million tons were produced in 1978, according to a market insights report from Standard & Poor’s Global.

The percentage share of electricity generation in the U.S. from coal also is headed south, from 27.4 percent in 2018 to projections of 24.7 percent in 2019 and 23.4 percent in 2020. The amount of electricity generated from coal was over 30 percent as recently as 2016.

At the same time, power generation from all renewable resources is expected to rise. “Wind, solar, and other nonhydropower renewables together provided about 10% of electricity generation in 2018. EIA expects they will provide 11% in 2019 and 13% in 2020,” the report said.

The biggest energy generator in the U.S. remains a fossil fuel—natural gas. As a matter of fact, fossil fuels still make up about two-thirds of all electricity generation in the U.S.

When comparing coal and renewables, the changes might be small, but at least they’re going in the right direction. Renewables are the fastest-growing source of electricity production in the U.S.

And all of this is far from enough to fight the effects of climate change.

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