Where the United States gets its coal
Did you know?
North Antelope Rochelle and Black Thunder mines in Wyoming each produce about as much coal as West Virginia, the second-largest coal-producing state. Together, the two mines produced 22% of total U.S. coal production in 2014.
In 2014,1 about 1 billion short tons of coal were produced in 25 U.S. states. Surface mines were the source of 64% of total U.S. coal production and accounted for 62% of the total number of mines. About 1.6 million tons, or about 0.2% of total coal production, was refuse recovery coal.
Five states accounted for approximately 70% of total U.S. coal production in 2014:
- Wyoming (40%)
- West Virginia (11%)
- Kentucky (8%)
- Pennsylvania (6%)
- Illinois (6%)
Coal is mainly found in three regions: the Appalachian coal region, the Interior coal region, and the Western coal region (includes the Powder River Basin).
Facts and data for each coal-producing region for 2014.1
Appalachian coal region
- The Appalachian coal region includes Alabama, Eastern Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
- Almost 27% of the coal produced in the United States came from the Appalachian coal region.
- West Virginia is the largest coal-producing state in the region, and the second-largest coal-producing state in the United States.
- Underground mines supplied 72% of the coal produced in the Appalachian coal region.
Interior coal region
- The Interior coal region includes Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Western Kentucky.
- About 19% of total U.S. coal was mined in the Interior coal region.
- Illinois was the largest coal producer in the Interior coal region, accounting for 31% of the region's coal production and 6% of total U.S. coal production.
- Underground mines supplied 56% of the region's coal production, and surface mines supplied 44%.
Western coal region
- The Western coal region includes Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
- About 54% of total U.S. coal production was mined in the Western coal region.
- Wyoming produced 73% of the coal mined in the Western coal region and is the largest coal-producing state in the United States. Eight of the top-10 producing coal mines in the United States were located in Wyoming, and all of those mines are surface mines.
- Surface mines produced 90% of the coal in the Western coal region.
1Year for which final annual data were available at the time of update.