New Study Touts Coal’s Economic Contribution to Pennsylvania’s Economy

A new study commissioned by the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance (PCA) found that coal mining accounts for nearly $7 billion in economic activity in the state. The study, which was conducted by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development on behalf of the PCA, estimated $4.6 billion in direct economic activity from mining and $2.27 billion from indirect and induced contributions.

According to the study, indirect spending primarily comes from supply-chain industries, while induced spending comes from employees who buy goods and services. The study looked at the annual impact the coal industry has on Pennsylvania’s economy, using 2017 as a baseline.

Further, the study found that the state’s coal industry generated 17,770 jobs in 2017, including 6,000 directly tied to mining activity and 11,000 related to the supply chain and support services. Despite a downward trend because of competition from natural gas, coal remains a significant source of energy in Pennsylvania and the U.S., the study said. Of the 47.2 million tons of bituminous coal produced in Pennsylvania in 2017, 58% was used for electric power generation. What’s more, Pennsylvania coal was shipped to 23 states.

The study was completed using data from federal and state government sources, noting the industry produced 49 million tons of coal during the period, with exports of bituminous coal increasing 117 percent over 2016 levels.

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