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According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Wyoming holds more than one-third of U.S. recoverable coal reserves at producing mines. Further, coal production in the state accounts for two-fifths of all coal mined in the country. Wyoming has 10 coal fields, one of which the Powder River Basin has 6 out of the 10 largest coal nines in U.S. Most of the coal mined in Wyoming is subbituminous, i.e., has less sulfur, making the state the producer of about nine-tenths of all U.S. subbituminous production. The biggest users of Wyoming's coal are power plants in Texas, Missouri, and Illinois.
Below, you will find Wyoming specific data on coal production and employment. Figures on this page are interactive. For example, hovering over the Wyoming Coal Production curve will display production in million short tons for a given year. In addition, the data can be downloaded by clicking on "Get the data", an option listed under each figure.
According to EIA, Wyoming has led the U.S. in coal production since 1986. Using historical coal production data from EIA and the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, it is evident that Wyoming coal production peaked in 2008 with over 467 million short ton. In 2019, about 277 million short ton were produced in the state, a 40.7 percent decrease from the 2008 production level. In addition, it is clear that Wyoming employment followed the production trend observed. Employment in coal mines peaked in 2009 with 7,054 employees. In 2019, 5,399 employees worked in coal mines in the state, a 23.5 percent decrease from the 2009 employment level.
The majority of coal produced originates from Campbell, Converse, Sweetwater, and Lincoln counties. Consequently, the majority of Wyoming employment in coal mines is concentrated in the same counties.