Can China Kick Their Coal Addiction?

World coal production and consumption data for 2011 are not yet compiled and published, but one key number is in. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology reports that the country’s coal output rose 8.7 percent from 2010 to reach 3.88 billion short tons last year. For comparison, US consumption in 2010 was just over 1 billion tons—and holding steady (mostly due to cheap natural gas prices). If the current trend continues, China will burn well over 4 billion tons of coal in 2012, four times as much as the US. Asia-Pacific…

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