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 PerryRick PerryOvernight Energy: Trump officials suspend oil, gas production on Utah plots after lawsuit | California bucks Trump on lightbulb rollback | Scientists join Dems in panning EPA's 'secret science' rule GOP counsel acknowledges 'irregular channel' between U.S. and Ukraine Live coverage: House holds first public impeachment hearing 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 RossTrump trade adviser pushes back on reports of US-China tariff deal China, US agree to reduce tariffs amid trade talks, Beijing says Income for poorest Americans fell faster than previously thought: study 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.