Bright outlook for coal
The National Mining Association says global demand for coal and other natural resources bodes well for the industry, particularly in developing countries.
President Hal Quinn says improvement in new-home construction and car sales in the U.S. are also good signs.
Quinn says coal is on track to become the world's primary energy source, surpassing oil by 2015.
In the U.S., total coal consumption is expected to grow by 50 million tons over last year, due in part to cooler weather and natural gas prices that the Energy Information Administration predicts will jump 22 percent.
Long-term, the NMA expects industry to benefit from the construction of larger, modern coal-fired power plants.
It says at least 100 million tons of production lost with the retirement of old plants will eventually be recovered.
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