U.S. Coal and the U.S. Economy
FAST FACTS AT A GLANCE
Coal Powers the U.S. Economy
- For every coal mining job, an additional 3.5 jobs are created elsewhere in the economy.3
- In other words, coal mining keeps about 500,000 people – including an estimated 134,000 coal miners – on the job and earning a paycheck, so they can support themselves and their families.4
- The average mining wage is more than $66,000 per year, approximately 57 percent higher than the average wage for other industrial jobs.5
- U.S. coal mining generated $8.1 billion in personal income and payroll taxes in 20076 – and billions more in property and other taxes – which are ultimately returned to taxpayers through vital government services such as K-12 education.
- About 70 percent of U.S. coal production is mined using surface mining methods.
- The National Mining Association estimates the direct value of surface mining activity at more than $5 billion. Billions more come from the purchase of mining equipment, costs for coal transportation, use of engineers and consultants, and tax payments to government.7
- Coal supplies half the electricity consumed by Americans.8
- Surface mining operations alone provide enough energy to power more than 25 million American homes.9
- Electricity from coals costs Americans about 6 cents per kilowatt/hour, among the lowest electricity rates in industrialized nations.10 The national average price of electricity from all fuel sources is nearly 10 cents per kilowatt/hour.
- Surface mining is safer and more efficient than underground mining.
- Surface mining has created much needed level land in Appalachia, while preserving the natural beauty of our mountains.
- Today, communities benefit from commercial developments such as shopping malls, airports and recreational facilities – all built as part of highly regulated, government-approved restoration and reclamation plans – leading to a higher quality of life and greater economic diversity and prosperity in the region.