By Steve Fiscor, editor, Coal Age

Preliminary figures released from the Energy Information Administration this week indicated total U.S. coal production for 2022 will exceed 2021 levels, posting a third consecutive year-on-year gain. Currently, year-to-date coal production through December 10, 2022, totals 569 million tons. The U.S. currently produces more than 12 million tons per week on average. With three more weeks of reporting to tabulate, total U.S. coal production could eclipse the 600-million-ton mark, something it has not done since 2019.

Among the top 10 coal-producing states, Wyoming leads with 235 million tons, a 4% increase over the 225 million tons reported at this point last year. West Virginia’s coal production has grown to 79 million tons from 75 million tons. The No. 3 producer Illinois has mined 36 million tons compared to 35 million tons. Bituminous coal production in Pennsylvania has dropped 10% year-on-year to 34 million tons from 38 million tons. On a percentage basis, coal production has grown the most in Indiana, which posted a 17% increase growing to 22 million tons from 18 million tons.