Summary of Findings
The United States has the world’s largest endowment of low-cost, high quality coal reserves. These reserves can be competitively produced and shipped to high value destinations through rail and seaborne transport. World coal demand for power generation is expanding and the value of coal in Asia, according to transactions on world coal futures markets, is likely to rise by $30/metric ton by 2016 over current prices. Coal’s low cost and abundance continues to make it a highly preferential fuel for power generation in the developing world. Rising world demand and higher prices for steam coal also presents a unique opportunity for high valued exports for American producers, particularly for low coast mining operations in the Powder River Basin (PRB) in Wyoming and Montana.