* In 2012, both coal and natural gas fuels were competitive for generating baseload capacity under differing circumstances in different regions of the U.S.
* Due to their higher efficiency, natural gas power plants that employ a technology called “combined cycle” can generate baseload power less expensively than coal plants when natural gas is about 1.5 times the price of coal.  In 2015, the average energy-equivalent price paid by electric power plants for natural gas was about 1.5 times the price of coal.
* In the U.S., coal is mined in two primary ways: surface mining and underground mining. Per the U.S. Department of Energy:
Surface mining accounts for about 60 percent of the coal produced in the United States. It is used mostly in the West where huge coal deposits lie near the surface and can be up to 100 feet thick.
In surface mining, bulldozers clear and level the mining area. Topsoil is removed and stored for later use in the land reclamation process. Specially designed machines … expose the coal bed. Smaller shovels load the coal into large trucks that remove the coal from the pit.
Before mining begins, coal companies must post bonds for each acre of land to be mined to assure that it will be properly reclaimed. In the reclamation process … the area restored as nearly as possible to its original contours. Since 1977, more than 2 million acres of coal mine lands have been reclaimed in this manner.
Where coal seams are too deep or the land is too hilly for surface mining, coal miners must go underground to extract the coal. Most underground mining takes place east of the Mississippi, especially in the Appalachian mountain states and is used to produce about 30 percent of U.S. coal today.
* In 2014, 16 U.S. coal workers were killed while working.  In conjunction with technological advances, improved safety measures, and stricter regulations,  coal worker fatalities have declined from a high of 3,242 people in 1907 to a low of 16 people in 2014:
* Per the Encyclopædia Britannica:
Coal mines and coal-preparation plants caused much environmental damage in the past. Surface areas exposed during mining, as well as coal and rock waste (which were often dumped indiscriminately), weathered rapidly, producing abundant sediment and soluble chemical products such as sulfuric acid and iron sulfates. Nearby streams became clogged with sediment, iron oxides stained rocks, and “acid mine drainage” caused marked reductions in the numbers of plants and animals living in the vicinity. Potentially toxic elements, leached from the exposed coal and adjacent rocks, were released into the environment. Since the 1970s, however, stricter laws have significantly reduced the environmental damage caused by coal mining.
* The U.S. has more recoverable coal reserves than any other nation, amounting to one quarter of the world’s coal resources. 
* Based on U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates from 2011, the U.S. has roughly 262 billion short tons of recoverable coal reserves, comprised of 23 billion tons of lignite, 96 billion tons of subbituminous coal, 139 billion tons of bituminous coal, and 4 billion tons of anthracite. These resources amount to: