Coal has no future, says US railroad boss

20 Jul 2017   Coal, Railroads

One of the largest haulers of US coal says fossil fuels have no future, despite pledges to the contrary from President Donald Trump. CSX, a freight railroad company with origins in the bituminous coal seams of Appalachia, will not buy a single new locomotive to pull coal trains, chief executive Hunter Harrison told analysts on Wednesday. “Fossil fuels are dead,” Mr Harrison said. “That’s a long-term view. It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s not going to be in two or three years. But it’s going away, in my view.”  His comments come as the White House aims to revive the American coal industry by rescinding environmental regulations and abandoning the Paris climate agreement. Mr Trump surrounded himself with coal miners earlier this year when he signed an executive order he said was “putting an end to the war on coal”.  Fossil fuels are dead . . . It’s not going to be in two or three years. But it’s going away, in my view Yet US power generators are building more plants fuelled by cheap natural gas, displacing old coal-fired units. Falling costs for solar and wind energy have also eaten into coal’s market share.  North American railroads have reshaped their asset holdings in acknowledgment that coal’s apex has passed.

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