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As coal shipments decline, rail remains dominant mode of coal transport to power sector

June 2, 2017

U.S. Energy Information Administration ------- The U.S. electric power sector consumed 677 million short tons of coal in 2016, the lowest amount since 1984. Electric power sector coal consumption accounted for more than 93% of all coal consumed in the United States, and more than two-thirds of this coal was shipped either completely or in part by rail. Most of the remainder was shipped by barge, truck, or—for power plants located near a coal mine—by conveyor. Electric power sector coal consumption in 2016 was 35% lower than in 2008, when U.S. coal production reached its highest level, but the share of coal shipped to the electric power sector by rail (completely or in part) has consistently remained near 70%. After rail, the next two most common modes of transporting coal are barge and truck. Both modes have accounted for about 10% of yearly coal shipments since 2008, but truck shipments have decreased slightly, reaching 9% in 2016, while barge shipments have increased slightly, reaching 13% in 2016. To learn more click on the picture below to read the article.



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