Fracking Fall Out


The impact of fracking in the US has been widely reported as providing huge supplies of gas, so bringing the world prices down, but I have not heard of the knock-on effect on coal. As coal is heavy, it is more costly to extract, and transport,  so demand for it in the US has fallen, and it is now being dumped onto the world market. British coal, already hampered by EU regulations on emissions, is extracted by miners digging far below the surface, so cannot compete with this additional problem. And as coal is traded in US dollars, the strength of the pound is making it even cheaper, hence the announcement this week of the impending closure of 2 of the last 3 deep mines in the Uk. The third is owned by miners, so may be able to hold out a bit longer, but the jobs in the mines and their communities will be hard hit. And if these and the surface mines close, but then demand again increases, such as the fracking dries up, there will be few if any skilled miners left, so will have to be imported from elsewhere such as Poland.


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