Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Carbon Tracker Initiative Paints A Bleak Picture For US Coal

The London-based Carbon Tracker Initiative paints a bleak picture for the US coal industry and its investors in a recent report, which finds the market for thermal coal is in a “structural decline” in the United States, “squeezed out by an abundance of cheap shale gas and ever tightening pollution laws.”

The report, The U.S. Coal Crash – Evidence for structural change, has found that, over the last few years, US coal markets “have been pounded by a combination of cheaper renewables, energy efficiency measures, rising construction costs, and a rash of legal challenges as well as the shale gas revolution.”

“Cheap gas has knocked coal off its feet, and the need to improve air quality and ever-lower renewables costs has kept coal down for the count,” said Carbon Tracker’s senior researcher, Luke Sussams, who co-authored the report.

These issues are compounded by the growing belief that fossil fuel investments will be stranded in the coming decades.

“We’ve known for decades that coal posed serious health and environmental risks, but now coal has also become an investment risk as countries take serious actions to clear their air and protect the climate,” said Andrew Logan, director of the oil and gas program at Ceres, a non-profit sustainability organization.

“Investors have been pushing for coal and other fossil fuel companies to face facts and adapt their business models to thrive in a carbon-constrained world.”

Exploring coal industry index responses to different demand factors (01/01/07 – 20/01/15)


One of the primary “key takeaways” provided by the Carbon Tracker Initiative report is that, “whilst historically economic growth in the US has consistently driven increased coal use, there is now clear evidence of a decoupling of the two. In fact, despite GDP continuing to rise, domestic coal use peaked in 2007 and has been on a declining trend since.”

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.


You May Also Like


Honda (and GM) to fuel cell electric car fans: never give up, never surrender.


The US Department of Defense is finally leveling up its interest in electric vehicles, and Canoo is front and center.

Clean Power

Virtual power plants were virtually unknown just a few years ago, and now the floodgates are open thanks in part to a Trump-era ruling.

Clean Power

A new offshore floating wind turbine platform takes the wind out of the sails of the anti-ESG movement.

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.