The Ohio River is a transportation system. What is the main item transported on the Ohio River? The main item is coal.
Coal is moved from coal fields in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and West Virginia up and down the river to coal-fired power plants on the riverbank. These coal-fired power plants, fueled by high sulfur coal, are one of the major sources of air pollution in the eastern United States. Ironically, these coal plants also are the source for much of the electricity in the eastern United States. If you are reading this page in the United States anywhere east of the Mississippi River it is likely that you are using energy generated by a coal-fired power plant along the Ohio River. Luckily, since 1998, the date for the list of the power plants on the print, several of the coal-fired power plants along the Ohio have been demolished or replaced by other fuel sources.