Southeastern Section - 50th Annual Meeting (April 5-6, 2001)

Paper No. 0
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


ANDREWS Jr, William M. and GREB, Stephen F., Kentucky Geological Survey, Univ of Kentucky, 228 MMRB, UK, Lexington, KY 40506-0107,

Coal is an integral part of Kentucky's economy, and contributes over $3 billion to Kentucky's economy each year. Kentucky is the third largest producer of coal in the United States, with over 150 million tons of coal produced annually. Because more than 95 percent of Kentucky's electricity is produced from coal, Kentucky has some of the lowest electricity rates in the country. These low electric rates have been a key factor in attracting several large manufacturing plants to the state in recent decades. During the past decade, however, Kentucky's coal producers have been facing increasing competition from lower rank, lower sulfur coals from the western United States. Over 200 years of mining in Kentucky have depleted the thickest, most accessible, and highest quality coal beds. A growing population and increased demand for electricity require improved public education about the critical role coal plays as an economic energy resource.

Through the ongoing coal research efforts of the Kentucky Geological Survey staff, KGS has compiled a large database on Kentucky coal, with over 25,000 thickness records, 15,000 borehole records, and 3,500 coal quality analyses. Numerous research reports, maps, and publications examining various aspects of the coal resource have resulted from the KGS studies. To synthesize this large body of information, KGS has compiled a Kentucky coal resources CD-ROM. Maps, charts, tables, photographs, diagrams, and descriptive text cover such diverse topics as coal geology and sedimentology, coal quality, the stratigraphy and structure of Kentucky coal fields, coal mining, coal production history, and coal markets and use. The text and figures are designed to provide both technical information and detail for industry and policy-makers, while maintaining an adequate level of explanation for educators, students, and the general public.