Although a small amount of lignite, a low rank blackish-brown coal, is still surface mined today, coal mining in California has generally become nonexistent. Coal was mined in California since 1855, when it was used as fuel for railroads, flour mills, steamboats, manufacturing plants, and domestic heating. In 1990, oil and gas became the main sources of energy, and coal mining quickly became insignificant. Currently, the state’s main production of power comes from natural gas and hydroelectric sources.
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