EIA: Coal-fired power generation surges 22% in past year

File – A truck carrying 250 tons of coal hauls the fuel to the surface of the Spring Creek mine near Decker, Mont. (Matthew Brown / AP File Photo)

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UPDATED 9:30 AM PT – Monday, December 6, 2021

The share of coal in U.S. power-generation is rising for the first time since 2014 amid Joe Biden’s crackdown on oil drilling and pipelines.

The Energy Information Administration found coal-fired power generation has increased by 22 percent over the past year amid surging prices of natural gas and oil. The cost of coal power stands at nearly $2 per million of British Thermal Units. Meanwhile, natural gas costs almost $5 for the same amount of energy.

The coal comeback comes despite Biden’s calls to eradicate the use of fossil fuels and a Democrat push for electric cars, which end up being powered by coal-fired power plants.

“Whether you’re looking at natural gas on a global basis or you’re looking at coal a global basis, there’s no give in the system,” explained Dan Yergin, Vice Chairman of IHS Markit. “In a sense we are seeing a consequence on a global basis of a constrained investment going into the energy sector…and the replacements isn’t really there, so there is an imbalance between what the policies and directions are.”

Last year, coal accounted for some 20 percent of U.S. power generation, but its share is expected to go up in coming years due to a shortage of reliable sources of energy.

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