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How Much Coal Has Been Mined in Pennsylvania's History?


November 20, 2023 - Coal was a source of energy and mining coal in Pennsylvania dates back to the 1700s and was used for power, to heat homes, and to produce steel.

Pennsylvania played a huge role in obtaining coal all over the state.

There were two types of coal mined in Pennsylvania, Anthracite Coal (hard) and Bituminous Coal (soft).

Anthracite coal is rare in the United States and is mostly found in about six counties in the northeast part of Pennsylvania.
Circa 1960: Three miners push a load of coal through the tunnel at Bromley pit in Pensford, Surrey.
Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images

In 2015, 4,614,391 tons of Anthracite coal was produced in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Bituminous coal is found in around 21 Pennsylvania counties in the southwest region of the state and is used for electricity generation and metal production.

In 2015, 50,128,603 tons of Bituminous coal was produced in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania DEP.

Pennsylvania was the leader in coal, specifically during World War I and World War II.

Pennsylvania has produced around 18,036,575,987 short tons (1 short ton equals 2,000 pounds) of coal through 2022 and still accounts for 1/5 of the United States output.

As of 2022, Pennsylvania has 108 mines (28 underground and 80 surface) and produced a total of 39,701 short tons of coal.

The 39,701 short tons of coal produced in 2022 is down from the 42,460 short tons produced in 2021.

Out of the 39,701 short tons of coal produced, 2,357 short tons was Anthracite coal and 37,345 short tons was Bituminous coal.

Underground mines were popular but with the dangerous work environment and health hazards, most of those have been abandoned.

One of those major events that caused this was the Centralia mine fires that still burn underground to this day.

There are around 11,249 abandoned mines in Pennsylvania.

Only 9,977 of the 11,249 abandoned mines have an impact or health or safety issue.

Out of those 9,977 abandoned mines, 6,651 have an environmental impact, 140 have an extreme health and safety impact, and 3,276 have a health and safety impact. 6 have no priority, and 1,266 have no determination.