A mining boom is spreading like wildfire across the Pacific Northwest.
And with the latest surge, the region is poised to surpass its 2014 total of 533,000 metric tons of coal.
But there’s still a long way to go, as the US still accounts for less than 5 percent of the world’s total.
For the first time, the US is projected to produce nearly half of the global coal supply.
The US alone accounts for nearly 10 percent of global emissions.
And as the region’s population continues to grow and the number of jobs in the industry continues to swell, the demand for coal continues to rise.
But as the world is transitioning to a new era of green energy, a number of questions are being raised about what the long-term outlook for coal is, and where it is headed.