For decades, coal has been stoking the nation, but regulation over the past seven years has dealt a huge blow to the industry, spawning big job losses and bankruptcies.
The FOX Business Network’s Jeff Flock spoke with coal miners from 200 feet beneath the surface at the Rosebud Mining Company's Tusky Mine, in Jefferson County, Ohio, the "heart of Ohio coal country.” This mine has been idle since Thanksgiving but is still required to spend money in order to maintain it.
More than 30,000 coal miners have lost their jobs during the Obama Administration and coal foreman Steve Stewart is afraid his may be next.
“My coworkers and [I] feel like we are under attack by this government with all the regulations they’ve imposed on us,” he said.
Coal mining stocks have also taken a big hit -- with some losing almost 100% of their value, in addition to some companies filing for bankruptcy.
“The assault from Washington with our over-regulation, and in addition to that, we are facing very low natural gas prices that are causing us competition,” said Rosebud mining manager Gary Alkire.
Although the Supreme Court has put a hold on President Obama’s clean power plan to cut emissions from power plants, the natural gas industry is taking off, generating just as much power as coal.
“There’s not a big demand for electricity, there’s not a lot of manufacturing going on, so the actual demand is down -- so it’s bad news for coal,” added Alkire.