Consider the facts: As recently as 2008 – coal-fired power plants generated half of all U.S. electricity.
Since then demand for coal has dropped steadily due to cheap natural gas – new wind and solar projects – energy efficiency initiatives and bad investment decisions – forcing three of the four largest U.S. coal companies — and smaller ones as well — into bankruptcy.
Today coal accounts for about 30 percent of U.S. electricity generation.
As for jobs – mechanization displaced miners years ago.
In 1980 more than 228,000 people worked in the coal industry.
In July – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics – the industry employed only 50,400.