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Coal Shipments to Power Sector at Lowest Level in 14 Years

Shipments of coal to U.S. power plants in 2020 fell 22% year-over-year, according to data released May 13 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The agency said the U.S. power sector received 428 million short tons (MMst) of coal last year, the lowest amount since the EIA began publishing shipment data in 2007.

The EIA said the COVID-19 pandemic was partly to blame for the drop, as demand for electricity fell nationwide. The agency in April reported that U.S. energy consumption in 2020 fell 7% year-over-year, which it said “marked the largest annual decrease in U.S. energy consumption in both percentage and absolute terms in our consumption data series that dates back to 1949.”

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