Coal mine production, employment continue to decline across Utah
Carbon County coal production dwindled to 6.3 million tons in 2013, the lowest output since 2002 and a little more than half of the 11.8 million tons mined in 2007. The figures come from data recently published by the Utah Geological Survey.
Carbon's coal output is still the highest in the state, a little ahead of the 6 million tons produced in Sevier County.
Emery County posted state's greatest decline over the past two decades, tumbling from a record high of 17.3 million tons in 1995 to only 3.9 million in 2013.
Statewide coal production has steadily tapered down from the mid-1990s, when output hovered around 27 million tons a year. The tonnage for 2013 was a little less than 17 million, the lowest since 1987.
Utah's coal mine employment stood at 1,445, the lowest since 1974 and a far cry from the peak employment of 4,296 of 1982.
Interestingly, mine output in 1982 and 2013 was virtually identical at about 16.9 million tons. Productivity per miner has roughly trebled due to technological advances.
The Geological Survey gathers its data from responses to surveys and from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.