I believe there are only two sensible things to do with America's coal deposits. The more sensible is to leave them in the ground where nature has safely stored them. The less sensible is to process them, on site, to produce either electric power or synthetic liquid fuel. This will eliminate the necessity for expensive and dangerous rail transport.
This latter choice, processing on site, is far more difficult but many think it can be done. It will require major technical advances which allow the noxious effluents from these processes, CO2, SO2, particulates, mercury etc., to be captured and safely stored. But hey, we put a man on the moon, didn't we?