Kentucky is the third largest coal-producing State, after Wyoming and West Virginia. It accounts for roughly one-tenth of total U.S. coal production and nearly one-fourth of U.S. coal production east of the Mississippi River.
Although all Kentucky coal is bituminous, its sulfur content varies across the Commonwealth. Coal produced in the Central Appalachian Basin is low in sulfur, while coal produced in the Illinois Basin is high in sulfur.
Nearly one-third of all the coal mines in the Nation are found in Kentucky, more than in any other State. Kentucky has both surface and underground coal mines.
Large volumes of coal move into and out of Kentucky by railcar and river barge. Kentucky delivers approximately three fourths of State coal production to more than two dozen States, most of which are on the East Coast and in the Midwest.
Nearly 95 percent of the coal used in Kentucky is burned for electricity generation, and most of the remainder is used in industrial and coke plants.