The US Coal Market – Opportunities and Challenges - USCM 

CPE Credits Awarded: 16

Categories: Other Energy Resources


The US Coal Market - Opportunities and Challenges is a two-day instructor-led course presented by the energy training experts at Mennta Energy Solutions. This training course is designed to give delegates knowledge of the economic and regulatory forces reshaping coal use. The course profiles industries that utilize coal, world coal consumption and the evolution of international coal markets. Delegates will become familiar with the scope and consequences of current and pending U.S. environmental regulations on continued coal use. The course also discusses the natural gas industry and the factors causing the declining use of coal for power generation in favor of natural gas. Delegates will learn about the implications of global demand growth, energy policy, and technological advancements on the future of coal. Delegates participate in interactive exercises and periodic quizzes which reinforce course material and instill awareness of how regulatory compliance decisions are made.

What you will learn

  • The physical and chemical characteristics of different ranks of coal
  • Industry terms such as 'steam coal,' 'coking coal,' 'PRB,' and 'CAPP'
  • How coal is used in diverse industry sectors
  • Where coal reserves are located in the U.S. and the mining technologies used for production
  • How coal is transported domestically and internationally
  • Global trends in the demand and consumption of coal
  • The basics of coal trading in commodity markets
  • Environmental regulations affecting the coal industry, and the implications for continued use of coal
  • Why power generation from natural gas has increased, and why coal-fired generation is declining in the U.S.
  • The fundamentals of the natural gas industry, from production and transport to storage and trading
  • Enabling technologies and potential policy developments that could impact future coal use.


  • Understand the economic and regulatory pressures causing the decline in coal use in the U.S.
  • Be knowledgeable about the relationship between natural gas markets and coal
  • Be able to identify emerging markets for coal
  • Recognize economic, technological, and policy changes that would affect the future use of coal
  • Know where to find data for financial projections, scenario analysis, and marketing plans.


This course is for anyone involved in industries related to coal, including those interacting with individuals or companies in coal mining, power generation, exports, or manufacturing sectors. Specifically, marketing and sales, operations, risk management, project planning, finance, IT, administrative support and consulting personnel would benefit from the material offered in this course.


Coal Basics

  • How is coal formed?
  • History of coal use
  • Environmental concerns

Coal Use Sectors

  • Steam coal and power generation
  • Coking coal and metallurgical industries
  • Use of coal in cement and liquid fuels manufacturing
  • Residential and industrial use for heat and steam
  • Byproducts industries

Coal Reserves and Production

  • How does coal rank determines its properties and uses?
  • Coal reserves in the United States
  • Mining methods
  • Transportation to markets

Regional Differences in Coal Use

  • What are the factors that cause regional variations in coal use?
  • Profile of the coal-fired electric generating fleet

Global Coal Consumption and Markets

  • World coal reserves and production
  • Drivers for global coal consumption
  • Coal trading and market participants
  • Futures exchanges and OTC markets

Economic and Regulatory Challenges

  • Characteristics of coal-fired generating units that impact economic viability
  • Environmental regulations affecting the coal industry
  • Regulatory uncertainty and implications for compliance
  • Understanding the regulatory process
  • How do utilities make compliance decisions?

Commodity Competition

  • Introduction to natural gas
  • Current structure of the natural gas industry
  • Natural gas supply management
  • Natural gas markets, trading, and price implications
  • Bid week, baseload and swing gas
  • Attractiveness of natural gas for power generation

Game changers

  • Projections for global demand growth and exports
  • Infrastructure investment and supplier restructuring outcomes
  • Regulatory, legislative, and policy developments
  • Technological advancements

Data Mining

  • Where to find data on coal and natural gas
  • Analyses and projections for the coal industry

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Mennta Energy Solutions (formerly The Oxford Princeton Programme, Inc.) is not affiliated with Princeton University, Oxford University, or Oxford University Press.