Mining lobby touts impacts of coal exports

May 22, 2013 by Ken Ward Jr.

The National Mining Association has a new report out today that touts the economic contributions of the growing export market for U.S. coal. You can read the report here, and here’s a little of what the NMA has to say on the issue:

Rising exports of U.S. coal to Europe and Asia added $16.6 billion to the U.S. economy in 2011, making significant contributions to America’s economic recovery and job creation in many industrial sectors as well as in regions far beyond the nation’s coalfields.

In a report released today by the National Mining Association (NMA), the industry’s national trade group, Ernst & Young analysts found that the 107 million short tons of American coal exported in 2011 supported 141,270 high-wage jobs paying nearly 50 percent above industry averages. According to the report, “U.S. Coal Exports: National and State Economic Contributions,” an estimated 168,430 jobs were supported by the 125.7 million tons exported last year, a record volume. Each ton of coal exported supported 1,320 jobs, said the study commissioned by NMA to document the broad benefits of U.S. coal exports.

“This report confirms the valuable contributions that our economy derives from U.S. coal exports,” said NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn. “These benefits include good jobs for American workers – from the mines to rail transport and port facilities – as well as new revenue for state and local governments pressed to fund essential services.”

This is a bit of what the report had to say about West Virginia:

In 2011, West Virginia ranked second in the U.S. in total coal production, producing 131.2 million short tons (mmst) of coal and employing 36,552 workers in coal mining operations. Of total coal production, 27 percent (35.0 mmst) was exported abroad and accounted for 9,760 (27 percent) of the total 36,552 coal mining jobs.

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