The Effects of Fuel Prices, Regulations, and Other Factors on U.S. Coal Production, 2008-2016


We decompose the decline in coal production from 2008 to 2016 into the contributions of several sources. In particular, we estimate the effects of declining natural gas prices and the introduction of new environmental regulations along with several other factors, using both monthly state-level data and annual information on coal plant closings. We estimate that falling price of natural gas relative to coal is responsible for 92 percent of the total decline in coal production over this period and that environmental regulations account for an additional six percent, with other factors making small and offsetting contributions.

The Energy Journal
John Coglianese
Senior Economist

My research focuses on the macroeconomics of labor markets.