An Analysis of the Coal Mining Industry in the United States
The coal mining industry is a vital economic sector for many countries including the United States (US). Coal is the primary fuel for electricity generation in the US and it is the cheapest and most abundant source of energy. The production of coal increased significantly from 573 million tonnes in 1978 to nearly 1.1 billion tonnes in 2006. This paper provides an overview of coal reserves in the US and an analysis of the coal industry's historical data with respect to the number of mines, total production, productivity, the number of employees, and safety and environmental records. It then discusses the issues challenging the coal industry regarding its future, including accurate estimation of reserves, regulatory limitation on carbon dioxide emissions, mine workers' safety, mine productivity, and resource optimization, as well as current efforts to address them.
V. Kecojevic and R. L. Grayson, "An Analysis of the Coal Mining Industry in the United States," Minerals & Energy-Raw Materials Report, Taylor & Francis, Jan 2008.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14041040802181790
Mining and Nuclear Engineering
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