U.S. coal production dropped 1.4 percent this year, largely because of significant declines in Central Appalachia, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Production in southern West Virginia, which comes from many of the same seams as those in Eastern Kentucky, declined 0.4 percent to 105.5 million tons. "Northern West Virginia mines increased output during the period 4.1 percent to 42.6 million tons," AP reported. "In Wyoming, the nation's biggest producer, production is up 1.6 percent to 433.1 million tons."AP added, "U.S. coal producers faced weak demand from electric utilities and stagnant prices for much of the year. More recently, however, international demand for coal used to generate electricity and to make coke for steel manufacturers has spurred exports, particularly to Europe and South America." To read the EIA reports, click here.