11 Interesting Facts About Coal

11 Interesting Facts about Coal

We create fun, creative escape rooms.  We have great themes, but that certainly doesn’t mean we’re experts in those themes.  Take coal mines for example.  We know what we learned in elementary school, but our general knowledge of coal mines is limited.  So tonight I did some research.  There are some interesting facts out there.  Lots to learn, and I thought I’d share 11 interesting facts I learned about coal.

The List

  1. It takes roughly 1 million years to form coal.  Now you see why it’s classified as a non-renewable energy source.
  2. There are 2 methods to mine coal: surface and underground.  Surface is cheaper and safe.  Underground is more fun for escape rooms!
  3. Coal is mined in 27 US states
  4. More than 90% of US coal is used for electricity.  The rest goes into stockings of bad little boys and girls at Christmas! 😉
  5. Coal must be relatively dry before it can be burned successfully
  6. 5.3 billion tons – the amount of coal consumed worldwide each year
  7. Coal is the official state rock of Utah.  I’m no expert, but that feels like lobbyists hard at work!
  8. Coal was an integral part of trade during the Roman Empire
  9. On a cost per million BTU, coal is less than half the cost of petroleum or natural gas
  10. Coal is directly responsible for 90,000 US jobs, many of them coal miners.  And there are another million jobs indirectly linked to coal and the coal industry.  We of course have taken a liking to coal miners!
  11. The Coal Severance Tax adds approximately $244 million a year into West Virginia’s economy

There’s a lot more out there, and there are certainly downsides to coal too.  The impact on the environment is certainly an issue.  But there are thousands of hard working Americans a year who make living working dangerous jobs in our coal mines.  If you want to get just a small glimpse of what that’s like, come check out the Black Iron coal mine and “Mine Trap” at Escape Tactic later this year.