13 Dec 2019

Coal Mining Fades and So Do Jobs

13 Dec 2019  by L.M. Sixel   
The closing of coal fired-generators in Texas and other states as coal has become an increasingly expensive source of power has resulted in job losses in coal mining, according to a report by the Department of Energy.
Coal mining employment nationwide has fallen to 54,000 workers in 2018, down from the industry's employment peak in 2011 when 92,000 workers toiled in the nation's coal mines. The biggest decrease was in the Appalachian region.
Annual coal production peaked in 2008, a year when the U.S. produced 1.2 billion tons of coal from nearly 1,500 mines. Since then many mines have closed as coal production has declined. Last year the nation produced only 756 million tons of coal from 679 mines.
The Department of Energy reported earlier this month that coal plants have been facing a general decline as low natural gas prices have made natural gas-fueled generators more competitive.
U.S. coal-fired electric generating capacity peaked at nearly 318 gigawatts in 2011 but declined to 257 gigawatts in 2017. One gigawatt provides enough electricity for about 700,000 homes.

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