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NCC approves coal export report for US Secretary of Energy

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World Coal,

The National Coal Council (NCC) has approved a report that will be sent to the US Secretary of Energy assessing US coal export potential as part of the effort to achieve US energy dominance, enhance international energy security and eliminate global energy poverty.

‘Advancing US Coal Exports: An Assessment of Opportunities to Enhance Exports of US Coal’ was prepared at the request of US Energy Secretary Rick Perry. The report assesses international market opportunities for thermal and metallurgical coal from Eastern, Central and Western US coal-producing regions and evaluates market, infrastructure and policy barriers impeding exports. It also calls for creating a US Department of Energy-led government-wide task force to monitor and co-ordinate policy developments relevant to advancing coal exports.

"The Trump Administration has called for unleashing US coal exports to serve expanding international markets and to aid nations in achieving energy access and security," said NCC Chair Deck Slone, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Public Policy at Arch Coal.

"Unleashing our coal exports is a powerful way to strengthen America's balance of trade, advance energy security and improve the quality of life for people around the world."

A vibrant global export/import coal trade flow reached over 1.3 billion t in 2017 according to the International Energy Agency. While significant commercial amounts of coal are exported, just 10 nations, including the US, accounted for over 95% of exports last year.

The seaborne market for coal is widespread globally and driven by the large demand in Asia, most notably China and India, which have used imports to bridge the gap between domestic supply and demand, a phenomenon that is expected to continue. The US has abundant reserves of coal available to meet both domestic and international market demand.

The analysis offers five recommendations to build the competitiveness and growth of US coal exports: coal production; river transport; ports and terminals; trade and international relations; and economic development in international markets.

The report details actionable items to achieve core recommendations.

’Advancing US Coal Exports’ was co-chaired by Justin Burk, Commercial Director for Peabody; and David Lawson, Vice President for Coal Marketing at Norfolk Southern Corporation. Secretary Perry asked the NCC to examine market, policy and infrastructure challenges and opportunities to advance US coal resources in international power and industrial markets.

NCC Chief Executive Officer Janet Gellici noted that the NCC also approved another report today entitled ‘Power Reset: Optimizing the Existing US Coal Fleet to Ensure a Reliable and Resilient Power Grid’, which is among the more than 35 reports the Council has prepared for the US Secretary of Energy since its inception.

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