US Coal Exports
Exports Economic Contributions Report

Report CoverIn 2013, international accounting firm Ernst & Young performed a comprehensive study of the economic and employment impacts of the coal exports sector. That study showed:

In 2011, coal exports contributed an estimated 141,270 jobs to the U.S. economy, including 39,350 direct jobs at mines, transportation companies, and ports plus more than 100,000 jobs at businesses in a wide range of industries. With export coal production of 107 million tons, that equals 1,320 jobs for each million tons of production.

Not only is that a lot of jobs, they are also high-paying jobs. Direct employees in coal-export related industries earned nearly 50 percent more than the national average in wages and benefits in 2011. People employed directly at coal mines, transportation companies, ports, and coal-exporting ships earned an annual average of $96,100 in wages in benefits, compared to the U.S. average for all employees of $64,500.

Click here for a complete copy of the Ernst & Young study. For a state by state breakout of economic contributions, use the interactive map below.


State by State Economic Contributions

More information can be downloaded by clicking a State.


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U.S. Coal Exports: National and State Economic Contributions (Ernst & Young, May 2013)

  • “The fact that we’re no longer in the age of energy scarcity – that we’re in the age of energy abundance – positions the United States in a totally different place. This gives access to affordable, reliable energy in the United States, and gives the U.S. a major competitive advantage.”
    – Dave Banks, Special Assistant to President Donald Trump for International Energy, June 2017
  • “It is in the national interest to promote clean and safe development of our Nation's vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation. Moreover, the prudent development of these natural resources is essential to ensuring the Nation's geopolitical security.”
    – Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, March 28, 2017
  • “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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