U.S. power plants are expected to burn less coal in 2020 than they have in 42 years, according to new government projections. The amount of coal used to generate electricity next year is predicted to decrease by 14 percent to 545.8 million metric tons, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Coal’s steep decline has continued despite President Donald Trump’s attempts to revive the industry by relaxing or eliminating environmental regulations, CNN reports. Since 2016, coal consumption for power generation has fallen 27 percent.
At the federal level, President Trump is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, but many states are still aggressively pursuing renewable energy in an attempt to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In aggregate, these efforts are steering the country away from coal. Efforts in the two most populous states are driving the trend, with Texas and California set to account for 22 and 14 percent, respectively, of the nation’s non-hydroelectric renewable energy production in 2020.
“The U.S. power sector’s move away from coal is contributing significantly to decreases in U.S. coal production,” Linda Capuano, the EIA’s administrator, wrote in the report.