Coal Mine Expansion Threatens Villages

A defining moment in the ongoing shift in the US’ energy landscape occurred in April 2012, when natural gas accounted for as big a share of electricity generation as coal for the first time since the Energy Information Administration began collecting that data. Abundant, cheap natural gas had edged a good deal of coal out of the stack.

But coal has been regaining ground this year, and the EIA’s latest Today in Energy report notes that in some regions, natural gas still accounts for a relatively small percentage of electricity generation. The Mid-Atlantic region in question – or PJM Interconnection region, which includes customers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania,Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, DC – gets most of its power from coal and nuclear.

“Natural gas power generation increased because of low natural gas prices in 2012 and 2013 (especially in states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania), but the availability of cheap coal from the Illinois Basin has kept coal-fired units producing nearly half of the output in PJM’s system, especially in the western portion (Indiana and Illinois).”

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 8.49.38 AM