States’ Appetite for Coal Shrinks, Except in Nebraska

By Yvette Romero

Prospects seem bleak for U.S. coal miners despite President Trump’s pledge to put them back to work. Coal’s share of U.S. power generation has been steadily eroding in the wake of clean-air regulations and the presence of cheap and plentiful natural gas. Nebraska, which opened two new coal-fired power plants in 2009 and 2011, is the only state that increased usage from 2006 to 2016. However, wind energy capabilities in Nebraska have increased, and it now generates more power from wind than all but three states, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Change in coal’s share of power generation by state, 2006–2016

-75% -50 -25 0
No coal usage
ME
−78.2
AK
−12.3
WI
−16.8
VT
 
NH
−89.1
WA
−27.8
ID
−25.6
MT
−16.1
ND
−7.9
MN
−29.0
IL
−35.3
MI
−40.2
NY
−91.6
MA
−83.0
RI
 
OR
−19.9
UT
−29.7
WY
−7.3
SD
−37.2
IA
−25.6
IN
−41.3
OH
−48.3
PA
−55.6
NJ
−87.9
CT
−95.9
CA
−85.7
NV
−70.1
CO
−17.3
NE
+6.0
MO
−21.8
KY
−26.7
WV
−21.9
VA
−51.7
MD
−53.0
DE
−90.4
AZ
−24.8
NM
−38.5
KS
−30.6
AR
−1.6
TN
−48.5
SC
−46.8
NC
−50.3
DC
 
OK
−45.3
LA
−50.8
MS
−70.5
AL
−56.1
GA
−56.2
HI
−1.9
TX
−17.2
FL
−39.7