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Weekly Production / Consumption Report (Jan. 16 Update)

Last week West Virginia coal production followed a national trend, with statewide production decreasing by -3.6%, with production from the NAPP region of the state declining by -3% and production from the CAPP region decreasing by just over -4%.  National coal production declined by just over -6%.  Production in the Appalachian region declined by -6% from the previous week, Western region production fell by -5.9% and output from the Interior region declined by almost -6 ½ % week over week. 

Thermal coal prices were static from the previous week.  U.S. natural gas prices increased slightly in all the regions / hubs, increasing an average of +1.43% ($0.04) from the previous week.

West Virginia Records Historic Mine Safety Performance Record

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has reported that 2020 saw a historic low number of coal mining fatalities nationwide, even amid health risks brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

MSHA reported there were 29 mining fatalities in 2020, including just five occurring in coal mines.  West Virginia was the site of two of those coal mine fatalities, with one occurring at a closed mine. 

WV Coal Association Statement Concerning DC Circuit Court’s Ruling Vacating the Affordable Clean Energy Rule

Charleston, W.Va. - - Chris Hamilton, President of the West Virginia Coal Association, offers the following statement regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) ruling vacating the Affordable Clean Energy Rule and remanding it back to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for further consideration:

“On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the D.C. Circuit rejected arguments by the EPA and effectively vacated the agencies Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule regulating greenhouse gases from coal fired electric utilities. 

Mining Symposium Recognizes Companies for Excellence in Safety and Reclamation

CHARLESTON, W.Va. ─ The West Virginia Coal Association convened its 48th annual West Virginia Mining Symposium this week and celebrated the safety and reclamation achievements of mining industry operations across the state.

“West Virginia’s coal industry continues to show its resilience and commitment to excellence across the board,” WVCA President Chris Hamilton said. “It’s always a proud day for us when we can recognize those who excel in safety and reclamation, showing that the best and brightest in the industry are right here in West Virginia.”

The Symposium took place January 12 at the newly renovated Embassy Suites and Conference Center in Charleston, W.Va.

Pandemic’s Impact on 2020 Coal Production Significant

The COVID-19 Pandemic negatively impacted West Virginia coal production, driving state production levels to their lowest since 1911. The economic disruption caused by the pandemic affected every segment of the domestic and international energy market.

Compared to 2019, Thermal coal shipments from West Virginia to domestic utility companies fell by -30% (-14.3m tons) as national electric generation levels declined by almost 3%. In the primary markets for West Virginia thermal coal, generation declined by over -4%, and output from the Mid-Atlantic and Central Industrial regions fell by -4 .5% from 2019 levels.