Coal producers in Eastern Kentucky just can catch a break, which has devastating effects on coal miners in the region. A recent news report in the newspaper indicates that, due to a worldwide glut of coal, the price has decreased dramatically. The spot price of Newcastle coal, and international benchmark, has decreased from $120 per metric ton, to roughly $80.
This means that it is no longer cost effective to mine coal in certain regions, like Eastern Kentucky, where costs are high. And this means that coal companies are again laying off miners.
The impact of changing market forces on Eastern Kentucky coal is nothing short of devastating. It is unfortunate that some people – some politicians – would rather play politics with the issue rather than help the region deal with changing market forces.