“Compared to what?” goes the line.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration illustrates energy expenditure when mining coal in a kid-friendly rendering on their site. From this, one can see just how many variables are involved in coal mining. Beginning with the rank or type of coal to equipment, method, prepping, and transportation, mining can be costly.
Knowing all these factors, it’s conceivably possible to calculate down to your preferred energy unit just how much energy it takes to mine a single piece of coal. Unfortunately, this would take a supercomputer or possibly omniscience.
There is no conversion factor for human life or man-made environmental calamity although mining companies factor such variables into their business models. For the purposes of this answer, the energy gained from such mining far outweighs energy costs.
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