U.S. Energy Information Administration logo

Frequently Asked Questions

How large are U.S. coal reserves?

The following are the categories and estimated amounts of U.S. coal reserves as of January 1, 2019:

Recoverable reserves at producing mines totaled 15,261 million short tons. Recoverable reserves at producing mines represent the quantity of coal that can be recovered (mined) from existing coal reserves at active mines. These reserves essentially reflect the working inventory at producing mines.

Estimated recoverable reserves totaled 252,733 million short tons. Estimated recoverable reserves include coal in the demonstrated reserve base considered recoverable after excluding coal estimated to be unavailable because of land use restrictions, and after applying assumed mining recovery rates. This estimate does not include specific economic feasibility criteria.

The demonstrated reserve base was estimated to contain 473,695 million short tons. The demonstrated reserve base is composed of coal resources that have been identified to specified levels of accuracy and that may support economic mining under current technologies. The demonstrated reserve base includes publicly available data on coal that has been mapped and verified to be technologically minable.

Learn more:
U.S. Coal Reserves
Energy Explained: How Much Coal Is Left?

Last updated: October 22, 2019


Other FAQs about Coal