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China's Job-Saving Coal Fix May Mean More Trouble in Appalachia

  • Biggest coal region proposes boosting exports to save industry
  • Coal mining faces a 9% capacity cut, 1.3 million job losses
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China’s biggest coal region has a fix for the country’s glut that may send shivers through miners from the U.S. Appalachian Mountains to Australia’s Hunter Basin.

The Chinese government wants to shut roughly 9 percent of its production capacity to shrink its industrial sector and clean its polluted skies. That means dismissing 1.3 million coal workers, risking social unrest that Beijing wants to avoid. An alternative touted by the northern province of Shanxi, which produces more coal than any country other than China, is to keep mines running and ship the excess overseas.