The United States has the largest coal resources in the world.
Coal contains sulfur and other elements, including dangerous metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic, that escape into the air when coal is burned. Burning coal also produces particulates that increase air pollution and health dangers.
Coal is used primarily for electricity generation. As a source of energy, it has faced increasing competition from natural gas and renewables, declining from its peak consumption in 2007 by 39%.
In 2018, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), fossil fuels — coal, natural gas, and oil — supplied about 64% of our electricity needs, of which coal is responsible for 27.5%.