Appalachian Coal Exports Increasing

Jul 19, 2012

An analysis of coal mine data released today shows that coal exports have exploded from Appalachian operations over the last few years, with some mines exporting 100 percent of their coal abroad.  The report, entitled "Our Pain, Their Gain: Mountains Destroyed for Coal Shipped Overseas" challenges the myth perpetuated by the coal industry that "coal keeps the lights on."  Instead, the report found that 97 strip mines in central Appalachia are exporting their coal overseas.

Domestically, coal fell to 35% of electricity generation in the first four months of 2012, down from 44% in 2009.  But over the same period, coal exports nearly doubled, now accounting for 12% of U.S. production.  Three quarters of coal that is exported comes from Appalachia, much of it from strip mining.