There's Still One Hot Spot for U.S. Coal: Pizza Ovens

(Bloomberg) -- America’s love of pizza is helping keep the beleaguered coal industry afloat.

Blaschak Coal Corp., a closely held Pennsylvania miner, reported its best-ever sales in 2018, thanks to demand from steelmakers, home heating -- and coal-fired pizza restaurants. The company sold 382,000 tons last year, besting a record it set in 2014, according to an emailed statement Wednesday.

The boom in sales for Blaschak came as coal continues to lose market share in the power sector to natural gas, wind and solar. Last year was the second-biggest ever for U.S. coal-plant retirements, as about 18 facilities with 14 gigawatts of total capacity went dark, according to BloombergNEF. The super-hot-burning type of coal used in pizza ovens, anthracite, represents a fraction of total U.S. coal production.

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