Burning Coal, Burning Cash: Ranking the States that Import the Most Coal — 2014 Update

Published Jan 3, 2014 Updated Jan 14, 2014


Importing coal to produce electricity is an economic drain on states that rely heavily on coal-fired power.

Thirty-seven states were net importers of coal in 2012, sending billions of dollars to other states and nations for coal — money that could have instead been used to support local economies.

By investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, states can reduce their coal imports, protect consumers, improve public health, and decrease the global warming emissions from coal-fired power plants, which currently account for 80 percent of all the carbon emissions produced from power generation.

This 2014 analysis — a follow up to the 2010 Burning Coal, Burning Cash report — ranks the 37 coal-importing states, highlights the rapid changes taking place in the U.S. energy landscape, and provides recommendations for states to move toward a cleaner, healthier, and more affordable energy future.

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