Coal production at a 20-year low in Colorado
Mine closures in the state and a sharp decline in demand for coal for power plants led to the lowest coal production in Colorado in two decades.
The U.S. Energy Information Agency reported that the state produced 21.6 Mt (23.8 million st) of coal in 2013, a 17 percent decline from 2012 and 41 percent lower than the peak year of 2004. The last time production was this low was 1993 when the state produced 19.8 Mt (21.9 million st).
Colorado Mining Association president Stuart Sanderson said the industry has been hurt by a number of factors including a mild winter and low natural gas prices as well as legislative polices at the state and local levels.
The closure of the Elk Creek Mine in Paonia and the New Elk Mine in Trinidad accounted for about 60 percent of the drop, Sanderson said.