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Why Global Coal Production Just Experienced Its Biggest Drop On Record

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Coal production has been dying for many years, and it’s not just due to the rise of renewable energy. Natural gas has been the leading factor in the displacement of coal, and while it’s still a fossil fuel, it’s displaced coal to its lowest level of production since the early 1980s. With costs continuing to decline for these alternative sources, the demising trend of coal is going to continue.

Natural gas provides a middle ground between coal and renewable energy. It still pollutes the air with carbon emissions, but it’s a cleaner burning at 50 percent of what coal emits and when compared to gas that’s used in vehicles. Electric generation from natural gas has continued to rise since the late 1980s and it topped coal as the most-used source in the United States in 2015.