As more and more American power plants are converting from coal to natural gas, coal producers have been steadily increasing foreign exports. The Pittsburgh Business Journal recently reported that 42 percent of U.S. coal being shipped to other countries comes from western Pennsylvania.
The overseas market, though, may be getting a little bit smaller. As the Huffington Post reports, Finland is taking steps to become the first European country to stop using coal. The goal is to phase out the fuel by 2025:
Currently, Finland imports all of its coal from nearby countries such as Russia and Poland. Annual import volumes range from less than 3 million to 9 million tons, depending on the rainy or dry climate, according to the Finnish Coal Infoassociation’s website.
Eliminating coal usage could help the country save millions of euros a year, since coal imports cost Finland between 70 million to more than 300 million euros ($91 million to more than $388 million) annually, according to Finnish Coal Info.