The coal industry that sustained Central Appalachia since the 19th-century is declining faster than anyone expected.
In a little more than three years, the amount of coal mined there will be less than half the total in 2008, according to the Department of Energy. They’ve simply exhausted most of the easy to reach resources.
Reporting from Garrett, Ky., the AP warns of economic devastation as the industry shrinks. Coal mining occupies up to 40 per cent of the workforce in some towns.
We tracked down a 2010 report from West Virginia’s Downstream Strategies about the decline of the industry.
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