Coal on the rise in US, China and India

FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2016 file photo, a haul truck with a 250-ton capacity carries coal from the Spring Creek strip mine near Decker, Mont. President Trump's latest move to support coal mining is unlikely to turn around the industry's prospects immediately. Experts say the biggest problem faced by the mining industry today isn't a coal shortage of coal or even the prospect of climate change regulations, but an abundance of cheap natural gas. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

BEIJING (AP) – The world’s biggest coal users are boosting mining in 2017, in an abrupt departure from last year’s record global decline and a setback to efforts to rein in climate change emissions.

Data reviewed by The Associated Press show production for China, India and the U.S. is up about 6 percent through May compared to the same period last year.

Coal’s fortunes had appeared to hit a new low less than two weeks ago with reports that production fell 6.5 percent worldwide in 2016.

Whether its comeback proves lasting has significant implications for long-term climate emission reduction targets. Coal accounts for almost half of greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels.

Analysts say the U.S. mining rebound appears temporary but that India’s growth should continue. Projections for China are mixed.


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