US Coal Exports
New! Exports Economic Contributions Report

A basic commodity that Americans often take for granted is sadly lacking across wide portions of the world. Some 3.6 billion people have no or only partial access to electricity.

3.6 Billion People Have No or Only Partial Access to Electricity

Source: International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 2011 and
The World Bank World Development Indicators 2011

The developing world is responding with an unprecedented effort to build new power plants. As a fuel for those power plants, coal is abundant, easy to transport and store, and offers a cost-efficient way to lift nations out of electricity poverty.

Electricity Poverty in East Asia

The benefits of greater electricity availability are dramatic and undeniable. In India, for example,  improved access to electricity over the past 20 years has led to huge decreases in poverty rates and major improvements in quality of life.

Coal Provided 70% of India's Increase in Electric Power from 1990-2009

SOURCE: American Coal Council

In China, urbanization has led to steadily increasing demand for coal-fueled electricity.

China's Urbanization and Coal Demand

As the repository of the world’s largest economically recoverable coal reserves, the United States has an important role to play in continuing the advancement of human living conditions around the world.


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Coal Exports Facts and Figures

CIAB Coal Policy Report 2012

“At present 19% of the world’s population, 1.3 billion people, lack access to electricity and on New Policy Scenario projections there will still be 1 billion people without such access in 2030. To meet the UN Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2015, 395 million more people need access to electricity. There is a strong correlation between electrification and improvement in the United Nations’ Human Development Index.”

—International Energy Agency, Coal Industry Advisory Board

“Access to electricity is strongly correlated with every measurable indicator of human development”

—Berkeley Science Review, 2008

  • “The President’s National Export Initiative should place greater public emphasis on the role coal exports are playing to help reach the White House’s goal of doubling U.S. exports.”
    — U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, January 7, 2014
  • “…we need to export more of our goods. Because the more products we make and sell to other countries, the more jobs we support right here in America…We will double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million jobs in America…We have to seek new markets aggressively, just as our competitors are. If America sits on the sidelines while other nations sign trade deals, we will lose the chance to create jobs on our shores”
    — President Barack Obama, January 27, 2010
  • “Historically, U.S. companies seeking to expand their revenues focused first on increasing their number and share of U.S customers. For years, this focus served as a winning strategy for many of the most successful U.S. companies. Today, global economic trends make clear that successful companies are those that reach and sell to consumers outside U.S. borders and around the globe.”
    — 2011 National Export Strategy, U.S. Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee
  • “Federal regulatory agencies should not require climate change studies in the course of their permitting processes for proposed facilities. Coal will be consumed around the world regardless of U.S. trade policy. The only question is whether the coal is produced here in North America, where environmental standards are high, or elsewhere.”
    — U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, January 7, 2014
  • “At present 19% of the world’s population, 1.3 billion people, lack access to electricity and on New Policy Scenario projections there will still be 1 billion people without such access in 2030. To meet the UN Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2015, 395 million more people need access to electricity. There is a strong correlation between electrification and improvement in the United Nations’ Human Development Index.”
    — International Energy Agency, Coal Industry Advisory Board
  • “Access to electricity is strongly correlated with every measurable indicator of human development”
    — Berkeley Science Review, 2008

Count on Coal

National Mining Association

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