U.S. coal exports have jumped 60% since this time last year as Europe and Asia boost their demand, giving President Trump's administration a reason to boast, Reuters reported.
President Trump had hoped to revive the bruised coal industry and recently pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Europe's increased demand of the highly polluted energy source undermines criticism of the president's move.
"If Europe wants to lecture Trump on climate then EU member states need transition plans to phase out polluting coal," data scientist Laurence Watson said.
The U.K. boosted their demand for U.S. coal 175% and France doubled their imports following a series of nuclear power plant outages. The increase is notable, but remains well-below volumes reported during the last five years.
The largest coal producer, Peabody Energy (BTU - Get Report) , said the U.S. has become a "swing supplier" for overseas importers as U.S. miners have learned to produce at a lower cost and European demand has ticked up seasonally. But there is a possibility the U.S. will become a "primary player," the Energy Information Administration said.
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