Yesterday there were three opinion essays in the Herald Leader – from Senator Mitch McConnell, Representative Andy Barr, and Bill Bissett, the President of the Kentucky Coal Association – decrying what they call the Obama Administration’s “War on Coal.” All three essentially said that federal regulations are killing the coal industry.
Then, in today’s paper, there is a blurb in the business section saying that a coal operator in Eastern Kentucky plans to open seven mines and employ roughly 250 people. According to Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford, the long-term outlook for Eastern Kentucky coal is “rather bright.”
Apparently mines in Eastern Kentucky are planning to sell more coal to China, and need to open pits to meet demand. This would indicate that coal production was down because demand was down. According to Rutherford, the coal economy is cyclical, and the current lull appears to have “bottomed out.” He hopes that exports to China and India will help mines in the region return to a higher level of production.
I guess Mr. Rutherford didn’t get the memo from McConnell, Barr and Bissett.
Here are links to the stories: