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Strategy[edit | edit source]

Coal provides Production Hammer (Civ4).png to the city that works it, with +1 Hammer (Civ4).png tile bonus yield and an additional +1 Hammer (Civ4).png bonus with a Mine.

The only unit which requires Coal is the Ironclad. While Coal Plants may be built without access to Coal, they will not provide any Power (Civ4).png unless Coal is present in the city. Coal, along with Oil Oil.png, allows Workers to build railroads. Besides increasing transportation speed, railroads give +1 Hammer (Civ4).png with Lumbermills, Mines, and Quarries. Coal provides an additional +50% Hammer (Civ4).png with the Ironworks.

The Production Hammer (Civ4).png bonuses of Coal come with significant Unhealthiness Unhealthiness (Civ4).png penalties. Coal produces +2 Unhealthiness (Civ4).png with Factories and +1 Unhealthiness (Civ4).png with Industrial Parks. When producing Power Power (Civ4).png, Coal Plants (and Shale Plants) produce +4 Unhealthiness (Civ4).png compared to the +2 Unhealthiness (Civ4).png with clean power sources. When operational, clean power sources supersede Coal Plants (and Shale Plants), thereby reducing Unhealthiness (Civ4).png by 2.

While Power Power (Civ4).png may be provided by alternative means, and railroads may be built with Oil Oil.png, the +50% Hammer (Civ4).png bonus with the Ironworks absolutely requires access to Coal. If Unhealthiness (Civ4).png is a severe issue, it may be desirable to cut off access to Coal by trading away all Coal trade resources, or by destroying Coal Mines; however, this strategy will result in the loss of the +50% Hammer (Civ4).png Ironworks bonus.

Coal is especially attractive to the German player, as Coal provides double production speed when building the Factory-replacement Assembly Plant.

Coal is also relevant to Corporations. When present in a city with Aluminum Co., Coal provides +3 Beaker (Civ4).png per Coal resource, and also provides access to Aluminum.png within that city. When present in a city with Mining Inc., each Coal resources provides +1 Hammer (Civ4).png.

Civilopedia entry[edit | edit source]

More than 300 million years ago, plant life growing in swamps began to decompose. Layers of sand and mud covered the decomposing plants, and the decaying plants were compressed by the combined weight of water and sediment. Over time, the plant matter hardened and became coal. Coal deposits are mined all over the world, and coal was one of the major fuel sources in the world through the 1970s. In many countries, concern over the environmental effects of the burning of coal has led to a decline in its use. The smoke produced by burning coal has a high acid content, and creates an environmental condition known as "acid rain," which is harmful to plant and animal life. Despite the environmental concerns, some of the largest coal mines in the U.S. each still produce more than 450,000 metric tons annually, making coal mining a very profitable industry.

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