US Coal Industry Is on the Road to Recovery

By Emel Akan, Epoch Times
August 22, 2017 2:47 pm Last Updated: August 23, 2017 10:06 am

U.S. coal producers are confident in expanding their production thanks to President Donald Trump’s coal-friendly policies and strong demand from steelmakers.

Pennsylvania-based Corsa Coal Corp. announced the opening of its second coal mine two months after launching the Acosta deep mine in Somerset County, Pa. in June.

The company made the decision owing to a robust steel marketplace, CEO of Corsa Coal George Dethlefsen told Fox News.

Work on the new mine was halted in 2012. Renovations will start next month with an expected opening early next year.

Trump is a strong supporter of coal and fossil fuels and has rolled back Obama-era energy regulations that hampered the industry for years.

Dethlefsen believes there is a direct link between Trump policies and the opening of the second coal mine.

“Deregulation has been a tremendous help for the industry,” he said. “The war on coal is over.” 

George Dethlefsen, CEO Corsa Coal Corp., center, is joined by fellow Corsa Coal employees and dignitaries as they cut the ribbon at the grand opening of Corsa Coal's Acosta Deep Mine in Friedens, Pennsylvania on June 8, 2017. Dethlefsen announced that the company will open the second coal mine in the first quarter of 2018. (Justin Merriman/Getty Images)
George Dethlefsen, CEO Corsa Coal Corp., center, is joined by fellow Corsa Coal employees and dignitaries as they cut the ribbon at the grand opening of Corsa Coal’s Acosta Deep Mine in Friedens, Pennsylvania on June 8, 2017. Dethlefsen announced that the company will open the second coal mine in the first quarter of 2018.
(Justin Merriman/Getty Images)

In addition, prioritization of economic growth, manufacturing in the United States, and potential tax reform help create a healthy market environment for coal, he said.

When Trump announced his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord on June 1, he mentioned the opening of a new mine in Pennsylvania, which was the Acosta mine.

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he said on June 1.

The Acosta mine, 60 miles south of Pittsburgh, was the first new coal mine in a decade. Opened on June 8, the mine will be in operation for at least 15 years, bringing up to 100 jobs.

It “signals a new chapter in America’s long, proud coal mining tradition,” Trump said in a video message that played during the grand opening of the mine in June.

Corsa Coal produces metallurgical coal used in the production of steel and other metals. A recent boom in the steel industry drove up prices for coal.

“The steel industry is undergoing a real Renaissance,” Dethlefsen told Fox News.

Coal production is up 14.5 percent nationwide compared to last year, stated a Wall Street Journal report. Coal exports rose nearly 60 percent in the first quarter from the same period last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

U.S. exports to China surged after China banned importing coal from North Korea in line with sanctions imposed by the United Nations.