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Coal industry generates $4.9 billion per year in Nebraska, NPPD study reports

From the April 25, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published April 25, 2014

By Jeannine Anderson
In Nebraska, the use of coal as a generating resource for electricity, along with the transportation of coal, results in nearly $4.9 billion a year in economic output, according to a study by the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD). The study found that the coal generation and transportation sectors also contribute $1.4 billion in labor income and support more than 22,800 jobs in Nebraska.

The study, "The Economic and Tax Revenue Impact of Coal Industry Activity in Nebraska," was prepared for NPPD by the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

"As we discuss the economic development benefits of Nebraska’s energy resources, it is important we acknowledge the financial impact of our traditional resources, too," said NPPD President and CEO Pat Pope. "Seven communities throughout the state, as well as the numerous towns around them, benefit from thousands of direct and indirect jobs."

"Coal is an important commodity in Nebraska," said the study’s author, Dr. Eric Thompson, in his report. "It is used to produce electricity for consumption in Nebraska and for export to purchasers located out of state." 

Thompson’s study found that coal is responsible for almost $4.9 billion annually for the state, and is a significant contributor to the state's annual gross product. The coal-fired electricity generation and coal transportation industries also generate about $142 million in taxes on income, sales and property, the study found.

NPPD said it sponsored the report to obtain an objective look at the economic impact from its generation portfolio, which includes several fuels: coal, nuclear, wind hydroelectric, gas, oil, and methane. A similar study about nuclear generation was conducted several years ago when NPPD was assessing the value of its nuclear power plant, the Cooper Nuclear Station.

The Bureau of Business Research is a leading source for analysis and information on Nebraska and the Great Plains economy, NPPD said. 

The complete study can be found at the bureau’s website at


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Vice President, Integrated Media and Communications
Meena Dayak

Editorial Director
Robert Varela

Editor, Public Power Daily
Jeannine Anderson

Communications Assistant
Fallon W. Forbush

Manager, Integrated Media 
David L. Blaylock

Integrated Media Editor 
Laura D’Alessandro