FIGURE 4.2 Domestic coal production during the last half century across the United States. SOURCE: EIA (2006a).

of union members, working at 147 mines (EIA, 2005d). The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) represents the largest number of workers (16.3 percent of the workforce) and the largest number of mines (131) of any of the unions. The average number of workers at a union mine is 140.

COAL MINING AND PROCESSING METHODS

A modern coal mine is a highly mechanized industrial plant that has to meet strict standards of engineering design and operation. The size, power, strength, monitoring and control features, and automation of mining equipment dwarf

TABLE 4.1 U.S. Top Coal Producing States in 2005

State

Production in 2005 (thousands short tons)

Percentage of Total U.S. Production Tonnage

Wyoming

404,319

36

West Virginia

153,650

14

Kentucky

119,734

10

Pennsylvania

67,494

6

Remaining coal-producing states

386,301

34

U.S. Total

1,131,498

100

SOURCE: EIA (2006b).



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