Coal fired power station with cooling towers releasing steam into atmosphere

Coal employment,particularly in places such as Central Appalachia, has declined significantly as major coal producers, including Alpha Natural Resources Inc.Patriot Coal Corp.Arch Coal Inc. and Walter Energy Inc.,  have turned to bankruptcy. In July of 2017, it was reported that Kentucky coal jobs were at their lowest level since 1898.

  • In 2016, Kentucky dropped from the third-largest to the fifth-largest coal producer among the states, as coal-fired electricity generating plants that had been customers of Kentucky mines were retired.
  • Although 83% of Kentucky’s net electricity generation in 2016 was coal-fired, a record 10% was natural gas-fired; the previous record share of natural gas-fired generation was 7% in 2015.
  • Kentucky Quarterly Coal Report (Q1) Jan. to March, 2017 HERE.
  • Kentucky Quarterly Coal Report, (Q2) April to June, 2017 HERE.

The Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More, or RECLAIM Act, distributes $200 million to participating states annually for five years from the Abandoned Mine Lands fund for economic development on a fast-track status. Many advocacy groups in Kentucky are working on support for this Act.