U.S. coal production increased, EIA says

Feb. 14, 2012 at 6:18 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Coal production from the United States rebounded from 2009 and showed a second consecutive year of increase, the U.S. Energy Department reported.

Production from the U.S. interior, which includes Texas, increased 6.4 percent from 2010 levels to around 166 million tons. Texas accounted for 40 percent of that increase, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reported.

Coal output from the Appalachian region near the East Coast increased 0.6 percent compared to 2010 levels while western coal production declined 1.2 percent compared to 2010, the EIA said.

The reporting agency said about 93 percent of the coal consumed in the United States was used in the electric power sector. The EIA, in a separate report, said that while U.S. natural gas production was increasing, coal would dominate the energy sector for the immediate future.

U.S. exports of coal reached a level not seen since 1991, with around 107 million tons of coal sent to overseas markets last year. The EIA said the United States increased its coal trade to countries like India, Japan and South Korea because flooding in Australia, the world's largest coal exporter, disrupted coal mining there.

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