Market conditions like these, in addition to IEA projections that coal is fast becoming the world's top energy source, almost ensures a place for the much-maligned resource in the world's energy mix. While potential regulations are expected to severely dampen the use of coal in the United States, with massive markets such as India and China hungry for ever-increasing amounts of energy, America's coal suppliers have a multitude of potential markets on which to capitalize.
To manage increased demand for U.S. coal abroad, plans have already been inked to double export capacity on the coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico within the next decade, Popovich says.
"China's demand for coal will be enormous for a long time," he adds. "And as some of the traditional European exporters swing to China to satisfy Chinese demand, they leave more for [U.S. suppliers] in Europe."