Despite the weirdness, 2008 was a good year to be in the coal production game in the United States. But don’t expect the fun and games to continue. From EIA today:
A significant increase in coal exports in 2008 contributed to a 2.8-percent increase in coal production. Production is expected to fall in 2009 by 4.0 percent as lower total domestic coal consumption is combined with declines in exports and a small increase in imports. Production is projected to increase by 2.4 percent in 2010 as domestic consumption and exports increase with an improving economy.
In New Mexico, coal production in 2008 was up 13 percent over 2007, mostly the result of the new El Segundo mine out near Grants.