updated 6/9/2006 1:57:10 PM ET 2006-06-09T17:57:10

  • There are an estimated 275 billion tons of recoverable coal reserves in the United States, or about one-fourth of the world's total. The energy content of U.S. coal reserves is four times greater than the recoverable oil of Saudi Arabia and exceeds that of all the world's known recoverable oil reserves.
  • U.S. coal production reached a record 1.133 billion tons in 2005, while consumption reached a record 1.128 billion tons. Electric generation accounted for 92 percent, or 1.039 billion tons, of all coal consumed in the United States.
  • Wyoming has been the largest coal-producing state in the nation since 1988. In 2005, Wyoming mines produced 406.4 million tons, or 35.9 percent of total U.S. production. The top 10 producing coal mines in the United States are all located in Wyoming _ nine of them in Campbell County, in northeast Wyoming.
  • Wyoming coal is low in sulfur, which means less pollution is created when it's burned in a power plant. In addition, Wyoming coal seams are closer to the surface and easier to mine than the underground coal in the Appalachian states. Mining companies can extract about 75,000 tons more coal per employee in the Powder River Basin than from Eastern mines.
  • Demand by electric generating plants for coal is expected to increase by 0.6 percent this year and by an additional 2.5 percent in 2007.
  • Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

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