Coal distributed in the U.S. fell last year about 7 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter and 6 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday.

In its Quarterly Coal Distribution Report, the EIA estimated total coal distribution at 210.9 million short tons in the fourth quarter of 2013. The report details coal distribution by origin state, destination state, mode of transportation and consuming sector.

chart Texas is the only state to land in the top five states for both distributing and receiving coal. Photo: EIA

Wyoming led as the origin state of coal, accounting for about 94.4 million short tons of coal shipped to 33 states. Texas was the lead destination state, receiving about 23 million short tons of coal in the fourth quarter.

Railroad is the most popular way to ship coal, accounting for 68.4 percent of shipments in the fourth quarter. River accounted for 12.3 percent and truck accounted for 11.1 percent of coal transport, while transport by tramway, conveyor and slurry pipeline accounted for 8.1 percent of coal shipments.

Electric utilities and independent power producers received about 92.2 percent of the coal distributed. 


(Note: Coal railcars in Wyoming photo by