The USA has, in the past, been a net exporter of coal, but, it isn't the kind of coal one uses to for household energy to heat rooms. The coal the USA exports is metallurgical coal. Metallurgic coal is also called "coking coal" and it is used for metal production plants such as steel. I think the export numbers are something like 16% of the world's needs.
The map below is from 2015. There is probably even less coal used today around the world. Coal is a fossil fuel and it is not a desirable form of energy anymore. It just isn't. It pollutes far too much. The demand is not there anymore.
It isn't a matter of being cheap, because, no fossil fuel is cheap. Fossil fuels cause major damage to Earth's climate in the form of greenhouse gas emissions. Those rising emissions are causing climate damage to the lands people live on. In causing climate damage the cost of using coal becomes extremely expensive for any government in the world to take it's use lightly.
Additionally, the price of coal as a commodity has been dropping. The USA does not have a winning strategy to increase coal production, thus increase coal jobs. The demand is not there. The article immediately below is from May 2017. This year. This is not fiction. Coal and it's supposed jobs are a myth and nothing more than political rhetoric. Coal production in the USA is a utility for when it is needed, but, the switch to using coal as an energy source was flipped OFF awhile ago.
May 8, 2017
By Frik Els
The price of coking coal plunged (click here) again on Monday with the industry benchmark price tracked by the Steel Index dropping 6% or $12.40 to $199.40 a tonne as the impact of supply disruption following tropical storms in Australia appears to have been less than previously thought....
USA Republicans need to change their rhetoric. It is ancient, anti-economy, anti-worker, anti-union, anti-middle class and most of all anti-clean water and air. They need to value what current generations embrace and stop trying to kill people.
There was a euphoria at the beginning of 2017 when Cyclone Debbie hit Australia causing a shut down of it's metallurgic coal mines. That is easing and the price job is receding along with Australia's recovery from Cyclone Debbie.
July 9, 2017
By Michael Mackenzie
This week marked three months (click here) since Tropical Cyclone Debbie slowly hit the coastline of Queensland carrying windspeeds of 260kph.
That part of Australia is used to cyclones, but Debbie's destructive force refused to move on, hovering for hours over places like Daydream Island, Airlie Beach and Proserpine before moving slowly south.
And though months have passed, Debbie's impact is still being felt — from tropical North Queensland down to the flood-ravaged communities of northern NSW....
Also, China is getting very serious about the climate and is looking to domestic resources for any of it's coal needs.
2 December 2016
By WU Lixin, QIN Rongjun & REN Shihua
Our new study, (click here) An Analysis of Coal Price Trends in China, shows that the rapid increase in China’s coal prices since June 2016 was mainly driven by shrinking domestic supply due to China’s effort to cut overcapacity in the coal industry.
In order to stabilize coal prices, the Chinese government is taking measures to increase supply and is encouraging coal and power companies to sign long-term supply contracts.
In the long term, China’s coal demand will stabilize at around 4 billion tonnes, which can be fully met by domestic supply. As China reaches a balance in domestic coal demand and supply, the coal price and coal imports will decline....
As far as the climate crisis and China's resolve, this movement in policy by China regarding coal is hopeful. Good governance requires a country to stabilize the current market, learn it's impacts and then begin a strategy to change the impact of that market commodity to the country's commodity. I believe China is correct in stabilizing it's coal needs and RESTRICTING that need to domestically produced coal. This is the beginning of China's independence from coal as energy.
The era of coal is over. There is just no way coal is going to increase it's use of energy. I don't know if there is a good substitute for coking coal, but, my guess is somewhere in the world is an Eon Musk working on it.
PEAK. (click here) Today, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) publishes a landmark report. As it circumnavigates the major economies using coal to generate electricity, the organization concludes that the peak of coal production has been reached in 2013. In 2014, the decline was 0.7%, A data that the IEEFA has borrowed from the world energy statistics elaborated for 64 years by the oil tanker BP. By 2015, the decline is expected to increase with a forecast of between 2 and 4%. "This new analysis illustrates that a change in the era is taking place on the overall use of coal, mainly under the influence of technological innovations," said Tim Buckley, director of financial studies at 'IEEFA. "China, Japan and India are the three biggest importers of coal, and what we see is that their imports peaked in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively." Today, only India and Australia continue to consume more and more coal. What are the national reasons for this?