The New York Times reports: While President Trump has offered some regulatory relief to the industry, market forces still dictate a gloomy future — one largely shaped by the glut of cheap natural gas yielded by the drilling boom in shale fields near here and across much of the nation.
Last year, coal consumption in the United States fell by 2.4 percent, falling to its lowest level in nearly four decades. In the early weeks of 2018, national coal production has continued to decline from a year ago despite the frigid winter. A weather-related increase in exports last year yielded a modest gain in jobs, but it is not considered sustainable.
In addition there is a shift towards different sources of energy.
Has this message been lost in the Australian politicians?
The recent antics of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Treasurer would suggest that Australian policy makers have a long way to go.
It is also a warning that government policy makers, however active and determined, and no one would argue that Donald Trump was either of these, can do little in the face of the relentless march of market forces.