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Texas is king of electricity generation in the U.S. and still fuels a significant part of that power from coal, according to a new report by the federal Energy Information Administration.

 The EIA’s latest Quarterly Coal Distribution Report showed that domestic coal distribution nationally was down compared in 2019’s fourth quarter compared to the same period of 2018. Some 141 million short tons was moved during those three months, 8.5 percent less than the same time in the previous year.

Texas was the leading coal-destination state, receiving about 16.5 million short tons in shipments. Statewide power generators consume about 1,500 trillion British thermal units (BTU) in coal power annually, according to the EIA.That number surely could fall as the state’s wind and gas-fired generation grows, but coal still remains a sturdy second to natural gas in that sector, statistics show.  Coal-fired power plants operating in Texas include Fayette, Oklaunion, Welsh and Spruce.

The Lone Star state also is a nation leader in gas and wind power generation. The Texas Gulf Coast is home to industrial and LNG export terminals promising to deliver U.S. natural gas to foreign customers for power generation.

Back to the EIA coal production quarterly report: Wyoming (Gillette mining pictured, courtesy Wikimedia) was the leading coal origin state, accounting for about 68.6 million short tons of shipments delivered to 28 states in the final three months of 2019.

Railroads transport 70 percent of the domestic coal, according to the EIA’s quarterly report.

Electric utilities and independent power producers were customers for an estimated 92 percent of total U.S. coal shipments, the EIA shows.

Coal-fired power accounts for more than 25 percent of U.S. electricity generation capacity, second only to natural gas. Nuclear accounts for 19 percent, with renewables wind, hydro and solar generating the rest of the domestic electricity mix.