Energy

As Biden Fights Over Gas Supply, Coal Is Making A Comeback

(Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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President Joe Biden’s administration is working to wean the U.S. off of oil and onto green energy, but markets are pushing consumers toward using more coal instead.

The world’s largest economies are increasing coal purchases in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine impacting oil and gas supplies, led by Europe now that Russia has cut gas supplies to the E.U., The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Among the places where coal consumption is surging are parts of the U.S., exacerbated by unusually strong heat waves pushing power grids to the limit.

Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel in the world, putting out around twice the carbon emissions of natural gas. And with the Biden administration unwilling to make long-term investments in the industry, the easiest form of energy to ramp up production of is the lowest-quality coal, according to the WSJ. (RELATED: Here’s How Putin Could Single-Handedly Crash The Global Economy)

Coal consumption plummeted in the last decade in the West due to the negative climate impact of the fuel, according to the WSJ. The U.S. shifted heavily toward natural gas, driven by a fracking boom. Now, the Biden administration is declining to make long-term investments in the fossil fuel industry in an attempt to shift the U.S. toward renewables.

However, coal is still a leading fuel globally. While usage has declined in the U.S. and Europe, it’s widespread in India, the world’s second-most populous country, and China, the world’s leading carbon emitter, according to the WSJ.