Oklahoma’s Coal Industry has a $60 Million Impact

Oklahoma’s Coal Industry has a $60 Million Impact


Coal probably does not come to mind to most people when talking about the energy industry in Oklahoma. The oil and natural gas sector seems to be always referenced when thinking about Oklahoma’s energy industry.

Oklahoma’s coal is definitely not a major component in the U.S. coal market. However, the Oklahoma coal industry has an impact of $60 million per year in the eastern part of the state.

Some facts about the Oklahoma Coal Industry:
1) The coal industry was founded near McAlester, Okla. in the 1880s.
2) In 2010, over 1.1 million tons were produced.
3) There are 4 operating coal producers in the state with three new groups opening mines in 2013 and 2014.
4) Oro Mining of Australia has permitted for a mine near Heavener, Okla. The mine is expected to generate 200 mining jobs and 200 indirect jobs.
5) Spiro Mining Company has opened a mine near Spiro, Okla.
6) Farrell Cooper Mining has received a federal permit to develop a large underground mine near McCurtain, Okla.

Since a quarter of the world’s coal reserves are located in the U.S., it has long been considered a major natural resource for America’s energy future. Coal is currently mined in 26 states with Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Montana leading in coal production. Most of the coal in the US is mined for the use of generating electricity, and it provides over half of this country’s electricity generation power. In 2007, coal accounted for 27 percent of world energy consumption. We have enough coal in the U.S. to last close to 250 years.

Canada is the largest importer of U.S. coal. Outside of this country, the two top deposits of coal are located in Russia and China. It is currently projected that world coal consumption will increase by 56 percent from 2007 to 2034, with U.S. coal consumption during that same time frame expected to increase by a little over one percent.

The opposition to coal, however, is that it is not a viable option because of the environmental pollution it produces. Due to the enormous pressure to clean up this pollution, the U.S. government has stepped in to develop technologies for emission-free coal plants that will capture CO2 so that is does not enter the atmosphere.
Please let us know what you think about the future of coal, www.peoplesenergyplan.com.

America Needs America’s Energy! Together we can create America’s Energy Plan!

Mark Stansberry is the author of book, “America Needs America’s Energy: Creating Together the People’s Energy Plan”

Updated 08-27-2013

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