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Coal power in the United States

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Coal power in the United States accounted for 39% of the country’s electricity production at utility-scale facilities in 2014, 33% in 2015, 30.4% in 2016, 30.0% in 2017, and 27.4% in 2018.[2] Coal supplied 12.6 quadrillion BTUs of primary energy to electric power plants in 2017, which made up 91% of coal’s contribution to US energy supply.[3] Utilities buy more than 90% of the coal consumed in the United States.

Coal has been used to generate electricity in the United States since an Edison plant was built in New York City in 1882.[5] The first AC power station was opened by General Electric in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania in 1902, servicing the Webster Coal and Coke Company.[5] By the mid-20th century, coal had become the leading fuel for generating electricity in the US. The long, steady rise of coal-fired generation of electricity shifted to a decline after 2007.
The decline has been linked to the increased availability of natural gas, decreased consumption,[6] renewable power, and more stringent environmental regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency has advanced restrictions on coal plants to counteract mercury pollution, smog, and global warming.

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