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Title: Coal Production in the USA
Level: Intermediate, Middle School
Time: 2-3 Days
KERA Goals: 2.1, 2.
Objective: 1. Students will determine the leading coal producing states and calculate their productions totals. 2. Students will be able to sort the coal production data information according to alphabetical order by state and according to total tonnage per thousand short tons from highest to lowest. 3. Students will color code a map of the United States indicating coal production.
1. Information sheet (below)
2. The map from the U.S. Department of Energy. (below) It shows where various kinds of coal (lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous and anthracite) can be found. The chart below it shows which states mine coal and how much each produced in 1990.
3. Blank map of the United States
4. Crayons

1. Arrange the states by alphabetical order. What is the first state listed? What is the last state? Estimate how much difference there is between the two figures.
2.. Find the top five coal producing states. What are their total production levels?
3. Find all of the states which begin with the letter "A" and whose coal production is less than 12,000 thousand short tons. Add the states totals. Is the value more, less, or equal to the sum of the totals for California and Oklahoma?
4. Based upon the map and information given, can you determine an estimate of the total number of tons of coal in the United States? . Why or why not? (Are all 50 states represented? Are there oal reserves yet untapped?)
5. Color code a map of the United States indicating coal production.


1989 U.S. Coal Production By State
(Thousand Short Tons)
State Total State Total State Total
Wyoming 171,558 Kentucky 166,472 W. Virginia 153,143
Pennsylvania 69,542 Illinois 59,246 Texas 53,849
Virginia 42,766 Montana 37,742 Ohio 33,525
Indiana 33,631 North Dakota 29,555 Alabama 27,888
New Mexico 23,702 Utah 20,099 Colorado 17,115
Arizona 11,935 Tennessee 6,367 Washington 5,039
Missouri 3,377 Maryland 3,343 Louisiana 2,983
Oklahoma 1,728 Alaska 1,582 Kansas 854
Iowa 427 Arkansas 39 California 41


Coal Production in the USA
Answer Key
State Total State Total
Alabama 27,888 Montana 37,742
Alaska 1,582 New Mexico 23,702
Arizona 11,935 North Dakota 29,555
Arkansas 39 Ohio 33,525
California 41 Oklahoma 1,728
Colorado 17,115 Pennsylvania 69,542
Illinois 59,246 Tennessee 6,367
Indiana 33,631 Texas 53,849
Iowa 427 Utah 20,099
Kansas 854 Virginia 42,766
Kentucky 166,472 Washington 5,039
Louisiana 2,983 West Virginia 153,143
Maryland 3,343 Wyoming 171,558
Missouri 3,377   
The first state listed is Alabama….27,888.
The last state listed is Wyoming…..171,558.
The difference, 171,558 - 27,888 = 143,670, or approximately 144,000.


The top five coal producing states:
State Total
Wyoming 171,558
Kentucky 166,472
West Virginia 153,143
Pennsylvania 69,542
Illinois 59,246


States that start with "A" and have more than 12,000 thousand short tons:
State Total 13,556 > 1,769
Alaska 1,582
Arizona 11,935
Arkansas 39
Total 13,556
California 41
Oklahoma 1,728
Total 1,769


Provided by Pittsburgh Energy Technology Center

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