Coal

As Coal Jobs Decline, Solar Sector Shines

May 6, 2017

Craig Williams is still mining coal despite tough times for the business. "We're one of the last industries around and hope to keep it that way," he says in a breakroom at Consol Energy's Harvey mine, south of Pittsburgh.

The father of two — speaking in his dusty work jacket and a hard hat with headlamp — says coal is the best way he's able to support his family. He declines to give his salary, but nationally, coal miners average about $80,000 a year.

Becca Schimmel | Ohio Valley ReSource

United Mine Workers retirees are celebrating a permanent fix for health benefits secured in the federal spending agreement Congress reached over the weekend. However, the deal left them with more work ahead to shore up faltering pension funds.

Coal has long had a grip on American politics. That's why politicians worry about its fate. They tout the fossil fuel's contribution to the U.S. economy, but lately they've also been trying to find a way to clean up coal's image.

From video courtesy Sen. Joe Manchin

Congressional leaders are cautiously optimistic that a budget deal could protect health benefits for retired miners.

TVA, via Facebook

The CEO of the nation's biggest public utility says the agency isn't going to reopen coal-fired power plants under President Donald Trump.

Courtesy Berkeley Energy Group, via WFPL

In the first project of its kind, a Kentucky coal company is partnering with a global renewable energy giant to explore putting a major solar installation on a former mountaintop removal coal mine.

Peabody Energy, Inc., via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

With Australia coping with the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie and China turning back imports of coal from North Korea this week as apparent punishment for missile tests, U.S. coal exporters are hoping for a boost. But analysts aren’t predicting a coal comeback.

Federico Rostagno, 123rf Stock Photo

The Kentucky Coal Museum won't need as much coal anymore. The museum in Benham (in Harlan County) is installing solar panels on its roof, part of a project aimed at lowering the energy costs of one of the city's largest electric customers. 

Alexander Korzh, 123RF Stock Photo

A bipartisan group of legislators sent a letter to President Trump this week asking for more money for  black lung health clinics.

Erica Peterson, WFPL News

Monday night at his rally in Louisville, President Donald Trump repeated a campaign promise, telling the crowd he would revive Kentucky’s beleaguered coal industry.

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