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Coal Shipments Decline on Railways, Replaced by Oil

Feb 7, 2013
(ClimateWire)

Shipments of coal on U.S. railroads dropped 11 percent in 2012, according to new figures from the Energy Department, reflecting utilities’ continued shift away from coal-fired power generation in favor of natural gas and renewable fuels for electricity.

But although coal captured a smaller share of rail deliveries in 2012, oil helped make up the difference. Last year, crude oil and petroleum products delivered by rail rose 46 percent over 2011, or by roughly 171,000 carloads, according to data from the Association of American Railroads.