Coal’s slide to continue in US as renewables fill the gap

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. energy officials say demand for coal to generate electricity will continue to weaken in coming months despite efforts by the Trump administration to prop up the struggling industry.

The Energy Information Administration said Thursday renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and hydropower will fill much of the gap left by coal’s decline.

Natural gas will remain the fuel of choice for power generation with an expected 40 percent share of U.S. markets this summer.

Coal’s share is projected to be 25 percent. That’s down roughly half over the past decade.

Under Trump, officials have sought to ease coal plant regulations and mining restrictions.

Yet almost all major coal mining states are seeing production declines in 2019. Wyoming, Kentucky and Texas had the biggest drops. Only Montana saw a slight increase.