Carbon dioxide from combustion of US coal systematically varies with ASTM rank indices, allowing the amount of CO2 produced per net unit of energy to be predicted for individual coals. No single predictive equation is applicable to all coals. Accordingly, we provide one equation for coals above high volatile bituminous rank and another for lower rank coals. When applied to public data for commercial coals from western US mines these equations show a 15% variation of kg CO2 (net GJ)-1. This range of variation suggests reduction of US CO2 emissions is possible by prudent selection of coal for combustion. Maceral and mineral content are shown to slightly affect CO2 emissions from US coal. We also suggest that CO2 emissions increased between 6 and 8% in instances where Midwestern US power plants stopped burning local, high-sulfur bituminous coal and started burning low-sulfur, subbituminous C rank coal from the western US.