What is happening: Power plants make up the majority of the US coal demand nowadays, but coal-fired plants are shutting down at an alarming rate.
Why is this happening: Companies are switching from coal to more affordable/renewable energy sources faster than expected, making coal-fired plants a little obsolete.
Cost: The costs of energy sources such as wind and solar are coming down, with natural gas also cheap and readily available.
Consumption: Coal consumption hit its lowest rate since 1979 last year. Coal volumes are down 22% since 2014.
Railroads: This is having a knock-on effect on the railroads, as they are used to transport large amounts of coal.