US sector readies for transition away from pro-coal White House – by Taylor Kuykendall (S&P Global Market Intelligence – January 7, 2021)

The U.S. coal sector continued to struggle under the pro-coal Trump administration and will likely face new challenges on the political front under a Biden presidency and a U.S. Congress controlled by Democrats.

While President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress rolled out several policies and legal actions favorable to the sector during his tenure, coal employment and production in the country hit record lows amid ongoing coal plant retirements.

President-elect Joe Biden will enter office with ambitions to battle climate change among his top priorities, which could create headwinds for the carbon-intensive coal industry.

“We must come to grips with the fact that a new administration — one committed to a ‘zero-carbon economy’ and the ‘Green New Deal’ — will soon take over,” West Virginia Coal Association President Chris Hamilton wrote in an open letter to industry supporters dated Dec. 30, 2020.

Hamilton warned that there are “forces at work every hour of every day plotting the demise” of the coal industry. He called on coal supporters to contact local, county, state and congressional leaders to express concern.

For the rest of this article: