What do we know about “Coal keep[ing] the lights on”?

Finally another post on our website. On the stretch of road between Shenandoah and Mahanoy City, this conveyor reaches over the road displaying the phrase “COAL KEEPS THE LIGHTS ON” framed by the black heaps of culm from the stripping operations. The phrase is accurate insofar as the 2013 U.S. Energy and Information Administration Statistics reported that most U.S. generation was still indeed coming from coal. Thoughts? Were you aware that most U.S energy comes from coal? Has anyone seen the conveyor or the stripping operations around it?


  5 comments for “What do we know about “Coal keep[ing] the lights on”?

  1. Elizabeth Del Valle
    September 17, 2014 at 3:17 am

    Isn’t that for the cogeneration plant in the area?

    • November 9, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Hi Elizabeth,
      I’m just seeing your comment now, Yes, that is the co-generation plant in the area with the strippings in the background. As far as I understand it, the strippings are generally exported. The conveyor, I believe, is transporting the culm (the refuse) to the cogeneration plant.

  2. Name
    September 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?

    In 2013, the United States generated about 4,058 billion kilowatthours of electricity. About 67% of the electricity generated was from fossil fuel (coal, natural gas, and petroleum), with 39% attributed from coal.

    In 2013, energy sources and percent share of total electricity generation were

    Coal 39%
    Natural Gas 27%
    Nuclear 19%
    Hydropower 7%
    Other Renewable 6%
    Biomass 1.48%
    Geothermal 0.41%
    Solar 0.23%
    Wind 4.13%
    Petroleum 1%
    Other Gases < 1%

  3. norman p gregas
    September 17, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Yes! I have seen this. And yes! Agreed that coal keeps the lights on. But at what price? I have lived in Shenandoah all my life, as a young boy I have played in The strip mines. I remember stories that my father had told me about how the surrounding countryside of Shenandoah looked before stripped Mining. the price we pay to keep the lights on, the minors dying from an agonizing death from black long. A high price to pay in human life to keep the lights on.

    • November 9, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      Hi Norman, I’m sorry that I just saw your comment! As I mentioned above to Elizabeth, I believe those strippings that you see in the picture are actually exported. I would love to hear what you father told you about the Shenandoah countryside before the strippings. I never saw it myself but I enjoy hearing the other people’s histories. Are you also on the Facebook page? If you have time, please private message me.

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