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Coal is a Cornerstone of Our Economy

Sep 20, 2012

This week, the House of Representatives will continue its fight for jobs and American energy by passing H.R. 3409, the Stop the War on Coal Act. This legislative package is comprised of a series of bills aimed to stop the Obama administration’s regulatory assault on one of the nation’s most important sources of energy. Coal has been powering our economy for decades as a source of low-cost and reliable electricity. It was coal that propelled our economy during the Industrial Revolution, and it is coal that keeps our lights on and factories running today.

As the largest source of our country’s electricity, coal remains a cornerstone of our economy. But if President Obama’s EPA has its way, we could soon see the end of coal-fired power generation in America. The administration’s war on coal means fewer jobs and higher energy prices for American families and businesses, which is why House Republicans are standing up to fight EPA’s aggressive regulatory assault.

Coal is an abundant, affordable, and reliable American source of energy that is helping meet global energy demands and creating jobs. To keep powering our future, we must stop the war on coal.


According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, "the United States is home to the largest estimated recoverable reserves of coal in the world. In fact, we have enough coal to last more than 200 years." The Department of Energy reports that with 272 billion tons of coal reserves, the United States has more recoverable coal than any other country. In fact, more than a quarter of the world’s known recoverable coal reserves are located in the U.S.


As a plentiful and inexpensive energy source, coal currently accounts for more of our country’s electricity than any other source. Generating one kilowatthour of electricity from coal costs about six cents, making it one of our most affordable energy options. In fact, states that rely on more coal to generate electricity have lower electricity rates.


Unlike intermittent energy resources, such as wind and solar, coal-fired electricity generation provides continuous baseload power vital to maintaining the reliability of the electric grid, as well as providing additional reliability-critical functions such as frequency and voltage control.

Coal is GLOBAL

Coal provides electricity around the world. Since 1980, we have seen global demand for coal almost double. China’s demand for coal increased almost five-fold between 1980-2010, with China now accounting for almost half of global coal consumption. 

Coal is JOBS

The coal industry is currently responsible for over 550,000 U.S. jobs. According to the National Mining Association, more than 130,000 Americans are directly employed in coal mining across 25 states. The industry also estimates that every coal mining job creates an additional 3.5 jobs in the economy.

To learn more about H.R. 3409, the Stop the War on Coal Act, click HERE.