One of Governor Beshear’s top economic advisors said Kentucky’s coal industry should probably brace itself for a bad year. He said the outlook for this year leaves a lot to be desired.
"We sort of got used to an upward trend in the last decade, but the foreseeable future for coal and the next three quarters, I'm afraid are going to be decidingly negative," said Deputy Director Greg Harkenrider.
Harkenrider testified last week before the interim joint committee on appropriations and revenue. He said although Kentucky’s coal severance revenues doubled over the last decade to a record high of $298 million dollars in 2011, they dropped 19 percent in the fiscal year that ended June 30th. Much of the decline in revenues is due to falling coal prices.