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Coal enjoys 2021 resurgence

CASPER — The coal industry has had an unexpectedly good year. After tumbling 18% in 2020 compared to 2019, U.S. thermal coal use is expected to climb 21% through the end of 2021, according to a report published recently by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

U.S. coal consumption had been steadily decreasing, and fell by half between 2010 and 2020, according to the report. This year marks the nation’s first increase in coal-fired electricity production since 2014.

Coal production, which fell by 24% in 2020 after industrial activity declined, is expected to increase 9% in 2021, with that rec...

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