Over the past six years, as the U.S. has reduced its use of coal, helping to make America greener, energy companies have sent more coal than ever overseas to meet rising demand. And there are plans for more.
This fossil fuel trade threatens to undermine President Barack Obama's global warming strategy by making the U.S. appear as if it were making more progress on global warming than it actually is. That's because it shifts some of the pollution — and the burden for cleaning it — onto the balance sheets of other countries, including some places with laxer environmental standards and where governments are resistant to action on global warming. With companies looking to double U.S. coal exports, America's growing role in the global energy trade could help make global warming worse, by fueling worldwide demand. Yet the Obama administration has so far declined to evaluate the global consequences of increasing U.S. coal exports.
An AP examination of the environmental consequences of U.S. coal exports will move in advance on Thursday, July 24, for use in print and online at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Monday, July 28.
—Text: The package includes a main story of 3,300 words, an abridged version of 950 words, and an optional version datelined out of Luenen, Germany, of 700 words. Additional layered elements include "Five Things to Know."
—Photos: A package of about a dozen photos will move in advance on PhotoStream with online points excluded. That same set of photos and a separate, stand-alone gallery of additional photos will move again on the release date to PhotoStream and include online points. All images will be placed on the AP Images site on the release date.
—Graphic: A static graphic showing the countries importing the most U.S. coal for use in power plants, exporting the most coal and producing the most coal.
—Video: Will be released on AP Video-US, Online and APTN at 1 a.m. EDT July 28. AP Radio will release audio feeds at the same time.
—Interactive: An interactive showing U.S. exports of coal for power, top coal-producing, exporting and importing countries is available at http://hosted.ap.org/interactives/2014/coal-power/
—Data: The AP is making available one Excel workbook showing U.S. coal production in each state between 2002 and 2013, and U.S. coal exports from each land and sea port between 2002 and 2013. The data can be downloaded here http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/data/coal.xlsx. Newsrooms with questions about downloading or analyzing the data can contact the project's author, Dina Cappiello, for assistance. Cappiello can be reached at 202-641-9446 or email@example.com.
—On-camera or telephone interviews: AP reporters are available for interviews with AP members or customers about their findings, as long as these interviews are not aired prior to 12:01 a.m. EDT on July 28. Interview requests should be coordinated through Paul Colford or Erin Madigan White in AP's Corporate Communications office. Colford can be reached at 212-621-1895, and Madigan White can be reached at 212-621-7005 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include "Attention: Media Relations" or "Interview Request" on the email subject line.
—Plan for follow-up stories: For Tuesday, July 29, the AP examines plans to stop burning coal at one of Oregon's largest power plants to meet new federal limits on carbon emissions, even as coal companies plan to build a terminal miles away that would ship about 6 million tons more coal overseas.
Questions: Logistics or sales questions can be directed to Sarah Nordgren, 212-621-1766, or SNordgren@ap.org. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact email@example.com or call 877-836-9477. Editorial questions can be directed to the Nerve Center, 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600).