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A continued viable domestic coal industry

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Charles Rex Arbogast/AP/File

(Read caption) Sitting atop a mound of coal, a bulldozer redistributes washed coal from under a conveyor belt that was mined at Knight Hawk Coal's Creek Paum open pit coal mine near Ava, Ill. The energy in America’s coal reserves is roughly equal to the world’s known oil reserves, Gates writes.

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Last week at the Platts Coal Properties & Investment conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Stephen Braverman, vice president for coal services, at DTE Coal Services predicted that “No matter what, the U.S. is still going to have a viable domestic coal industry.”

According to Platts, Braverman said “the end result of the slew of new regulations facing the industry will be bigger units that burn more coal.”

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Braverman said, he predicts a 4% drop in coal-fired generation by 2020, and that older, high-heat rate plants are more at risk of being shuttered.

But larger, more efficient coal-fired plants will continue to operate and provide baseload generation, Braverman said.

That’s why affordable, stable electricity from coal is essential to this country. We need this natural resource—there is more than two centuries of coal in the U.S.—to  keep the doors open at small businesses, power our hospitals and keep assembly lines running at manufacturing plants across the country.

America has depended on the reliable and abundant coal that comes from our land and powers our lives for more than a century. With the energy in America’s coal reserves being roughly equal to the world’s known oil reserves, it’s clear that coal should continue to be a reliable source of electricity for all of us.