GE Blames War On Coal For Decision To Slash 12,000 Manufacturing Jobs

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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General Electric claimed the switch from coal to green energy products caused the manufacturer to slash 12,000 jobs.

Traditional power markets for fossil fuels are softening and leading to an ebb in manufacturing, GE claimed in a press statement Thursday. The slagging energy markets caused the company to cut several thousand jobs.

“Volumes are down significantly in products and services driven by overcapacity, lower utilization, fewer outages, an increase in steam plant retirements, and overall growth in renewables,” GE Power head Russell Stokes said Thursday in a press statement.

The job will save the company $1 billion and help “right-size” GE Power as power markets continue to evolve. GE generates more than 30 percent of the world’s electricity and provides the equipment to 90 percent of transmission utilities, Stokes added.

“Power will remain a work in progress in 2018,” he said. “We expect market challenges to continue, but this plan will position us for 2019 and beyond.” Coal production has been on the ropes throughout the past decade, but saw a minor upturn in 2017, especially in states like Pennsylvania.

The state’s coal production for the year was up 20.4 percent from the same period last year as the industry continues a slow but noticeable increase in fortunes. National coal production, meanwhile, has also seen a dramatic improvement, the report notes.

Production has ratcheted up 35.1 million tons since January, a marked improvement since September 2016, when it was at 29.2 million tons, according to the agency’s data. Total U.S. production was 548 million short tons as of last week, a 13.5 percent increase from the same period in 2016.

Coal exports for the first quarter of 2017 have also rebounded during the past year. They were 58 percent higher than in the same quarter of 2016, the EIA reported earlier this year. Most of the coal is sold to European or Asian markets, where demand is rapidly rising.

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