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PRINTER, KY - JUNE 3: Coal hoppers sit coupled on a spur track in front of a coal tower at Blackhawk Mining, LLC Spurlock Prep Plant on June 3, 2014 in Printer, Kentucky. New regulations on carbon emissions proposed by the Obama administration have reportedly angered politicians on both sides of the aisle in energy-producing states such as Kentucky and West Virginia. (Photo by Luke Sharrett/Getty Images)

China Coal Decline

In a potentially significant shift, Chinese production and consumption of coal to generate electricity in 2014 fell 3 percent, according to the Chinese government.

In a potentially significant shift, Chinese production and consumption of coal to generate electricity in 2014 fell 3 percent, according to the Chinese government.

It was the first decline in 14 years. For years China has mounted a long-term campaign to bolster electricity supplies predominantly through rapid expansion of coal-fired electric generation.

The important turn was chronicled this week in a Wall Street Journal report, "Falling Chinese Coal Consumption and Output Undermine Global Market."

Gas emissions created by burning coal is believed to be a significant cause of climate change. For years, China along with India have resisted efforts to curb their expansion of their coal-fired generation capacity. China recently has taken a more conciliatory stance in climate talks.

"The decrease puts China at or near an inflection point known as 'peak coal,' at which a long-term decline in consumption of the mineral begins after decades of heavy use," the Journal reported.

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