Why is coal found in Alaska?
Coal mining in Alaska can be traced back to the early 1900s during the gold rush years. Visible coal in the Healy area was an obvious source of fuel for steam boats and the railroad operations between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Where does the coal come from on Alaska beaches?
The coal that washes up on Homer beaches comes from veins in the bluffs that line Cook Inlet and overlook town. Boulder-size sections of coal break off the cliffs, are churned up in the ocean and wash onto area beaches in smaller pieces.
How much coal does Alaska have?
Alaska’s recoverable coal reserves were estimated to be about 2.8 billion tons at the end of 2019, equal to about 1% of the U.S. total.
How many years of coal is left?
Based on U.S. coal production in 2019, of about 0.706 billion short tons, the recoverable coal reserves would last about 357 years, and recoverable reserves at producing mines would last about 20 years.