The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) agency reports in September 2015 that the number of new coal mines opening each year dropped to its lowest point in at least a decade.
The total number of operating coal mines in the U.S. has hit its lowest point since all the way back to 1923.
US coal producers opened 103 new mines in 2013. At the same time at least 270 operations were either halted or shut down in 2013 according to the agency.
The 2013 production by the fewer the operating mines (just over 1,000 mines) dropped to less than 1 billion short tons.
The total coal production in the United States has shrunk about 15% since 2008.
“The commodity, which once fired half of the country’s power now accounts for just under 40% of it.”
Over the long run, the Energy Department projects that percentage will drop towards about one-third (34%) within the next 25 years.
“Coal is clearly trending down as market share as thermal power plants turn to natural gas and some displacement by renewables like wind and solar power.”