According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as of March 2014, the cost of coal per short ton ranged from $12 to $65. The quality of the coal determines the pricing of the coal.
Because the price of coal is determined by its location of origin and BTU quality, there is no fixed overall price of coal per ton. The coal's BTU determines its burning point; the higher the BTU, the better the coal. Coal mined in Central Appalachia tends to have the highest measure of BTU, meaning it is in the highest demand and commands premium prices. Coal mined from locations known to produce coal with a lower level of BTU is less in demand and commands lower prices.