A ‘Fossil Fuel’ Nowhere Near Extinction Abroad


New Mexicans concerned about coal mining in the state — and throughout the nation — should consider attending an upcoming “listening session” in Farmington. On August 20, at the Courtyard Marriott, the Bureau of Land Managment will receive input on “how the BLM can best carry out its responsibility to ensure that American taxpayers receive a fair return on the coal resources managed by the federal government on their behalf.”

The eco-left’s war on coal is going quite well. Mining companies are filing for bankruptcy, layoffs are robust, and coal’s share of the fuels used to generate electricity is declining.

In New Mexico, coal production dropped from 25.8 million to 21 million short tons between 2009 and 2014. Employment fell by 6.1 percent. (The state ranks 11th among the states in coal production.)

The good news is that export opportunities are manifold. As the Institute for Energy Research recently noted, “The International Energy Agency’s coal forecast indicates that global demand for coal is expected to continue to increase, surpassing 9 billion tons by 2019.” China is a major consumer, as is India, and according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “PetroVietnam … is seeking to purchase 11 million tons of coal per year starting in 2017 to supply Vietnam’s domestic power industry.”

Free trade offers New Mexico new customers for its natural gas — and soon, one hopes, crude oil. But coal is another commodity with a promising export future. The rest of the world isn’t embracing anti-coal hysteria, and that’s a good thing for the Land of Enchantment’s economy.