Biden's energy sec claims US doesn't import Russian coal—US imports of Russian coal increased from 2020 to 2021

A look at the data provided by the EIA shows that there were imports from Russia and China in 2021 and that there was a 33 percent increase in Russian coal imports from 2020 t0 2021.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY

Biden's Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm spoke to CNBC on Tuesday, saying of the US "We don't import coal from Russia." According to the US Energy Information Administration, the US imported 5.5 percent of their imported coal from Russia in 2020, and in excess of 250,000 short tons of coal from Russia in 2021.

"We don't import Russian gas at all, natural gas, we don't import coal. We're in a different position, and that's good for us," Granholm said.

The US Energy Information Administration provides information on the amounts and kinds of fuel that the US imports from other nations. While the US "is a net exporter of coal," the EIA states that "In 2020, steam coal accounted for 94% of total U.S. coal imports, and metallurgical coal accounted for about 61% of total U.S. coal exports."

"In 2020, the United States imported about 5 million short tons (MMst) of coal, which was equal to about 1% of U.S. coal consumption in 2020," the EIA reports.

The US imported coal from 16 countries in 2020, but the majority of those imports were from just five countries. They were, in order of most imports to lease, Colombia (72 percent), Indonesia (12 percent), Canada (9 percent), Russia (5 percent), and China (2 percent).

In 2021, the US continued to import coal from coal-rich countries. The US

increased coal production by 3.9 percent during the third quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter, and more than 9 percent higher than the same period in 2020., the EIA reports.

As with 2020, the US imported coal primarily from Columbia, Indonesia, and Canada, increasing imports from Canada, though Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to ban Canadian coal exports by 2030.

A look at the data provided by the EIA shows that there were 2021 imports from Russia and China. A report released in January 2022 shows that there was a 33 percent increase in Russian coal imports from 2020 t0 2021.

The table, which shows a year-to-date comparison between 2020 US coal imports and 2021, reveals that from July to September 2020, the US imported 209,925 shot tons of coal from Russia, and 279,156 during that same period in 2021.

When Granholm was asked about importing oil from Iran in the event that there was a "deal on the nuclear agreement soon," Granholm said, "that's certainly something that's a possibility."

"But of course you have to get to the deal first, and the deal, the fundamental, the reason for the deal is a denuclearized Iran. That's the reason for the deal," Granholm said. "If there is a bi-product of increased supply, so be it but the deal is all about making sure the world is safer because Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon."

In November, a reporter asked Granholm how many barrels of oil the US consumes per day. "I don't have that number in front of me," Granholm said. This came as the US released announced plans to release 50 million barrels of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

"Some suggest it's about 18 million," the reporter said, "which would suggest you're releasing less than three days worth of supply from the petroleum reserve," the reporter pointed out.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas quipped on Twitter, "file this under 'not qualified to be energy secretary.'"

The White House announced last week that an additional 30 million barrels of oil would be released from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to the energy crisis and high gas prices resulting from the war in Ukraine.


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