Yup, that's me.
I keep a few tons of various coals on hand to sell as a hobby (and to save on a gym membership- i have no dump trailer, so i shovel it on and off
It's expensive because I can only pick up a few tons at a time when i have the time to drive to kentucky, penn, or west virginia. Diesel fuel, $$ of wear and tear on my truck and so on. People that are interested or have the space, I reccomend they call a coal broker or pick it up themselves for much less $$ - but many - especially hobby blacksmiths who only want a few hundred pounds, and the people that buy 1/2 or 1 ton of lump coal for their fireplace would rather pay more and not deal with finding/transporting it etc. My goal here is more to promote the use of coal, specifically bituminous coal in home heating (provided they understand how it burns, have a proper setup etc.) rather than be anyone's long-term coal supplier; and of course give myself an excuse to drive around the country and talk about bituminous coal w/ people.
The kentucky coal (which I pick up either from a coal prep plant in southeastern KY or Thompson bros. depending on availablity) is cost competative w/ anthracite for heating- but is primarily used for people that want really nice open coal fires.-the coal DOES NOT "swell and melt" together during combustion- very low coke button. (very low sulfur too if i'm buying from ky: .34%!) The other coals are in some cases significantly less $$ per btu than anthracite - but one must have an appliance in which they will work well. Having said all that i'm not really attempting to have bituminous coal "compete" w/ anthracite- it's a niche and specialty market- and an opportunity for people to try bituminous coal while i'm able to give them advice, in person, on how to properly fire it.
Most people i talk to in WNY that are heating w/ anthracite are paying anywhere from $240-300/ton bulk to $275-350/ton bagged. apparently there is a wide range of price among sellers of anthracite, and, in some cases a wide range of quality.
btw, there's no "tar or other deposits" when burning bituminous coal. Completely tar and creosote free- just like anthracite. The only difference is that (depending on your appliance) there will be soft, fluffy, black soot deposits - these are non-flamable and pose no hazard.