Numbers show Colorado coal production hit a 40 year low in 2016, falling by nearly 40 percent from 2015. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, nationwide production fell by almost 18 percent. Colorado Coal production has fallen steadily in recent years due to increasing government regulations and competition from natural gas. During the first 11 months of last year, the Colowyo and Trapper mines produced 1.65 million and 1.67 million tons, respectively. They produced 2.3 million and 2.1 million tons, in 2015. The Desperado Mine in Rio Blanco County produced 1.4 million tons in the first 11 months of last year, and about 2.4 million tons the prior year. Coal employment has fallen as well. The Colorado Division of Mining and Reclamation reports that a total of 1,089 coal miners were employed in Colorado at the end of November of this year, compared to 1,326 that were employed at the end of 2015.