Gas tax good for coal industry


Alabama’s metallurgical (met) coal industry is booming, and thanks to the stalwart, pro-jobs leadership of legislators representing Yellowhammer State coal counties, the industry’s economic boom is only set to continue.

Last year, coal producers in Alabama exported $2 billion worth of high-quality met coal to steelmakers around the world — an amount unprecedented in recent history. This dollar amount accounted for 11 million short tons of met coal being exported from Alabama in 2018 alone. As production of this valuable “Made in Alabama” product continues to increase, so too does the importance of the Port of Mobile, as a hub that can efficiently and expediently export met coal to global destinations.

This is why the Rebuild Alabama Act, Governor Kay Ivey’s infrastructure bill, was so important to the state’s coal industry and the tens of thousands of Alabamians who rely on it for their livelihood. Securing the funding for badly-needed improvements at the Port was not just a win for coastal Alabama and the 134,608 jobs the Port supports. Much more, it allowed vital Alabama industries to continue growing and remain at the forefront of a competitive modern economy. The state’s biggest job-creating sectors, including agriculture and manufacturing, will benefit from a modernized Port in Mobile, but I write today to speak specifically for our booming met coal industry and our coal counties.

Just as President Donald Trump continues to work for fair trade on the federal and international levels, our state legislators made a transformational Alabama First vote when they chose to support the Rebuild Alabama Act. This will truly make a generational impact on our great state.

So, on behalf of the coal industry, our associate members and the thousands of Alabama families we represent, the Alabama Coal Association especially thanks the following legislators for their historic leadership:

Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, Rep. Connie Rowe, Rep. Kyle South, and Rep. Tim Wadsworth.

Because of these individuals and all of the “yes” votes on this legislation, the outlook for Alabama’s met coal industry is better than ever — and we’re not done growing yet. 

Patrick Cagle is president of the Alabama Coal Association.