Trump officials hail coal export deal with Ukraine

Trump officials hail coal export deal with Ukraine
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Trump administration officials are hailing a Pennsylvania coal company’s contract to export hundreds of thousands of tons of coal to Ukraine.

Xcoal Energy & Resources inked the deal to ship 700,000 tons of thermal coal — used to produce electricity — to Ukraine by the end of the year for use by Centrenergo PJSC.

The deal, which came about in part due to help from the Trump administration and the Ukrainian government, fits with President Trump’s goal of using energy exports as a geopolitical tool as well as Ukraine’s efforts to reduce Russia’s control over energy among its neighbors.

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“In recent years, Kiev and much of Eastern Europe have been reliant on and beholden to Russia to keep the heat on. That changes now,” Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryOvernight Energy: Trump Cabinet officials head west | Zinke says California fires are not 'a debate about climate change' | Perry tours North Dakota coal mine | EPA chief meets industry leaders in Iowa to discuss ethanol mandate Perry: US to become net energy exporter within 18 months New Homeland Security unit will battle threats to critical U.S. assets MORE said in a statement. “The United States can offer Ukraine an alternative, and today we are pleased to announce that we will.”

Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossJudge says California lawsuit challenging census question can proceed On The Money: Trump asks SEC to consider ditching quarterly reports | Turkish court refuses to release US pastor | Russia sanctions hearing, vote on consumer chief next week On The Money: US-China trade talks to resume | Mnuchin warns of more Turkey sanctions | How Turkey's financial crisis could roil the US | Senate GOP seeks tax law fixes MORE added that the agreement “will allow Ukraine to diversify its energy sources ahead of the coming winter, helping bolster a key strategic partner against regional pressures that seek to undermine U.S. interests.”

Xcoal President Ernie Thrasher traveled to Ukraine for the announcement.

“The U.S. coal will replace Russian origin coal at existing thermal power plants, i.e., energy security and diversification,” he said in a statement.