Coal production in the USA hit a nearly 40 year low last year. However, according to the Energy Information Administration, demand and production are expected to increase in 2017. They predict production should increase by 3% this year, due to a surge in demand for electricity from coal fired power plants. A more modest 1% increase in production is predicted for 2018. While the election of President Trump is expected to have a positive effect on coal, the increase in demand is primarily market driven, and has little to do with policies enacted by the new administration. The predicted increase is tied to increasing natural gas prices, one of the main substitutes to coal fired electricity. The Energy Information Administration predicts that coal will account for 31% of the nation’s electricity consumption in 2017 and 2018.