BURNED OUT ON COAL: Industry Decline, Lives Destroyed

By Industries FOXBusiness


As Peabody Energy (BTU), the nation’s largest coal mining company, teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, it is a harsh reminder of the reality hitting a corner of the energy industry.   

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Other large coal mining companies have already collapsed and have destroyed the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who once made good livings tied to coal. The US Labor Department says more than 27,000 coal miners have lost their jobs since 2009 along with thousands of others whose jobs were tied to the coal industry.  

Hazard Kentucky, in the heart of the eastern Kentucky coal country, has been hit especially hard.  Unemployment in the surrounding area tops nine percent and young people say they have no future. 

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The world is shifting to renewable energy like solar and wind power but coal still provides 40 percent of all electricity globally and is expected to be a major source of fuel for the next two to three decades. But the people in Hazard and other coal producing regions say the Obama administration’s tough new regulations are designed to kill coal production in the United States faster than the free market forces now in play.  

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