Burning Coal, Burning Cash

States That Import the Most Coal

Published May 18, 2010


The cost of importing coal is a major drain on the economies of many states that rely heavily on coal-fired power. UCS's analysis, Burning Coal, Burning Cash, shows the scale of this annual drain on state economies, and suggests how they can keep more of those funds in-state through investments in energy efficiency and homegrown renewable energy.

We have ranked states' dependence on imported coal in each of six categories. The six measures include net spending on imported coal, net weight of imported coal, per capita spending on imported coal, spending on coal relative to the size of the state economy, reliance on net coal imports relative to total power use, and spending on international coal imports.

Twenty-five states appear in the top ranks on at least one of these six lists. Our report profiles electricity production and opportunities for saving power in 24 of those states—all except Virginia, which, though it imports a lot of foreign coal, is not a net coal importer.  You can download information specific to each of these 24 states from the list below.

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