United States and coal

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Coal exports

In 2007, the United States exported almost 60 million tons of coal. One industry analyst estimated that the amount would rise to 80-90 million tons in 2008 and 100 million tons in 2009. Through June of this 2008, producers sent 40.4 million tons overseas, a 57 percent increase over the same period in 2007.[1]

In May 2011, Reuters reported that total U.S. coal exports could amount to around 100 million tons (91 million tons) in 2011, according to analysts, leaving only Australia and Indonesia above the U.S. in world coal export rankings, and putting the U.S. above Russia, Colombia and South Africa.[2]

Coal production

According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, U.S. coal production totaled:[3]

  • 1.17 billion short tons in 2008;
  • 1.074 billion tons in 2009;
  • 1.084 billion tons in 2010; and
  • 1.08 billion tons in 2011.

Articles and Resources


  1. Lee Buchsbaum, "New coal economics," EnergyBiz Insider, December 24, 2008
  2. Bruce Nichols, "Analysis: U.S. to be a top coal exporter again, thanks to Asia" Reuters, May 12, 2011.
  3. "Coal Production, 1949-2010" EIA, accessed January 2012.

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