The Illinois Coal Association

is the professional trade organization

responsible for the promotion of Illinois coal, a natural resource found in great abundance in Illinois. To carry out its mission, the Springfield-based Association represents the coal industry in the state in governmental affairs, in public relations and in related matters. Through the Association, companies producing coal in Illinois deal with issues affecting their interests with a single unified voice.

About Us

The Illinois Coal Association is a not-for-profit corporation - incorporated under Illinois law in 1878.

Illinois Coal Membership

Membership in the Illinois Coal Association is comprised of two categories, Company Membership and Associate Membership:

Please visit our Join the ICA page to see more information about membership and to download an application.

ICA Board Chairperson

Alyssa Harre is the Director of External Affairs and Organizational Strategy for the Prairie State Generating Company. 

Located in Washington County, Illinois

ICA President

Day-to-day operations of the Association are directed by a full-time president, Nick Williams, whose duties include the coordination of relations between the Illinois coal mining industry and the various state agencies regulating the industry or interacting with it in some other way. 

The annual economic impact of the Illinois coal industry is

$2.4 billion

Illinois Coal Association members employ 3,000 Illinois residents

with an average annual salary of $80,000

According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, indirect employment from Illinois coal mines creates an additional

8,400 jobs

in the Illinois economy.

$71.3 million

Coal mines located throughout the state of Illinois serve as a major source of property taxes, which provide funding for Illinois schools.

Illinois coal sold in state is already subject to a 6.25% sales tax. The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition is proposing a 6% severance tax on the gross value of coal extracted in Illinois. This added tax would accelerate shutting down the state’s baseload power supply, while simultaneously putting 3,000 Illinois coal miners out of work.

Illinois mines are already at a competitive disadvantage with adjacent coal-producing states like Indiana and Kentucky. A coal severance tax will force the shift of production to other states and cause Illinois mines to close.

We need all of the above approaches to energy policy for Illinois. There shouldn’t be a legislative need to eliminate jobs in one industry to create them in another.

Coal in the Spotlight

More than any other fuel, coal helped build the United States into a strong and prosperous nation. Yet coal is needed now more than ever.

While the coal industry takes pride in its major role in the history of America, the industry’s mines are geared to have an even greater hand in the future in meeting the nation’s demands for increased supplies of energy.

First off, the United States has more coal – often called nature’s black diamond – than any other fossil fuel, an estimated 250 year supply. Coal really is a natural resource in this country. Coal is located in 38 states and mined in 25.

What is Coal?

Coal is a black or brown rock that can be ignited and burned to produce energy in the form of heat. Coal’s chemical makeup is a complex mix of elements that include sulfur, carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen, as well as small quantities of aluminum, zirconium and many other minerals.

There are several different types and ranks of coal. Coal is classified by degrees of hardness, moisture and heat content. Anthracite is hard coal, almost pure carbon, and containing the highest Btu content. (British thermal unit – a measure of the energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.); Bituminous is soft coal, the most common type in the United States, used to generate electricity and to make coke for the steel industry; Lignite is the softest coal, has the highest moisture content and is used for generating electricity in certain parts of the country and for conversion into synthetic gas; Subbituminous has a heating value between bituminous and lignite, and has low-faced carbon and high percentages of volatile matter and moisture.


The Facts

The fact of the matter is, aside from the importance of coal in the energy picture, coal mining itself is one of America’s traditionally basic industries.

More than any other fuel, coal helped build the United States into a strong and prosperous nation. Yet coal is needed now more than ever.

Live Fuel Mix Statistics

90 Percent

Coal is America’s most abundant energy resource—making up 90 percent of U.S. fossil energy reserves on a Btu basis. At current consumption rates, the U.S. has more than 250 years of remaining coal reserves. 

Public Companies

Nearly 30 percent of U.S. mines are owned by public companies.

1 Billion Tons

The U.S. has produced more than 1 billion tons of coal annually for each of the last 15 years.

Two - Thirds

Approximately two-thirds of today's coal production results from surface, rather than underground, mining.

U.S. Coal Mining Employment

Although coal’s total contribution to the American economy and way of life is impossible to estimate, coal production has demonstrable benefits. These include the direct employment of nearly 150,000 people and the creation of 3.3 jobs for every job in coal mining, for a total of more than 500,000 jobs. Coal generated $26 billion in sales and paid $13 billion in direct wages and salaries according to 2016 analysis by the National Mining Association. 

Our team


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Alyssa Harre

ICA Board Chairperson