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UCS Coal Import Index

Source of roughly half the U.S. electricity supply: coal

The last time coal wasn't the dominant source of electric power in the United States: the late 1800s

Number of states that generate at least 75 percent of their power from coal: 9

State that accounts for more coal production than all of Appalachia and more than the next six largest coal-mining states combined: Wyoming

Difference between coal from the West and coal typically found in the eastern United States: about one-third less energy, on average

Number of states that drained a net of at least $1 billion from their economies in 2008 to pay for coal imported from out of state: 11

Total weight of coal imported in 2008 by the 10 most coal-dependent states: 363 million tons

Length of train of railcars needed to carry 363 million tons of coal: 36,500 miles

Number of times a 36,500 train would circle the Earth: almost 1.5 times

Amount of money sent to other countries to import coal in 2008: $1.8 billion

Number of states that imported coal from outside the United States in 2008: 16

Amount of coal imported from outside the United States in 2008: 25.4 million tons

Number of oceangoing barges needed to transport 25.4 million tons of coal: 1,700 (or more than four arriving in U.S. ports every day)

State most dependent on international coal, with 82 percent of its coal use coming from foreign shipments: Massachusetts

The states with the highest per capita expenditures on coal imports in 2008 that spent less than one dollar per person on ratepayer-funded efficiency programs in 2007: Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, and North Carolina

Amount that power producers in these six states spent per person on imported coal: $178 to $297

Amount Georgia spends on ratepayer-funded coal imports for every one dollar spent on ratepayer-funded electricity efficiency measures: $540

Potential electricity production from major renewable energy technologies—including wind, solar, geothermal, bioenergy, and small-scale hydropower: 16 times the amount of electricity used nationwide in 2007

States that have adopted renewable electricity standards requiring utilities to gradually increase their use of renewable energy: 29

Number of states that imported more coal than they exported, creating a major drain on state and local economies: 38

Additional shared commonality between the 38 states that were net importers of coal in 2008: an abundance of local, clean energy resources that can help break dependence on coal imports.

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