US coal reps host Chinese energy officials, talk ‘clean coal’

China, US coal summit in Billings, Montana

US coal

US coal officials looking to advance ‘clean-coal’ technologies to Chinese energy officials.  EcoFlight photo.

BILLINGS, Mont. – US coal representatives from coal-rich states are meeting with Chinese energy officials in a bid to advance so-called clean-coal technologies that have struggled to gain traction.

The conference, held in Billings and hosted by officials and the governors of some Western states, takes place near one of the largest coal reserves in the world, the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming.

It comes as the industry has suffered a beating in recent months: Mining companies going bankrupt. Proposals to hike coal royalties and lease payments. And cheap natural gas squeezing out demand for coal.

Those woes are in addition to concerns over coal’s role in climate change.

Clean-coal technologies purport to capture the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

But they’re expensive, and efforts to develop them for commercial use have foundered in the U.S.

The Canadian Press

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