Some In Eastern Kentucky Wondering About Life After Coal
WHITESBURG, Ky. - New statistics released by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet show a staggering drop in coal production and a sharp rise in unemployment in the southeastern Coalfields, particularly in Letcher, Harlan, Knott and Perry counties. According to the report, Eastern Kentucky coal production has reached the lowest level since 1965.
Over 4,000 eastern Kentucky miners have lost their jobs since 2011, and many fear the coal jobs aren’t coming back. So the emerging question is, what comes next? Scholars at Appalachian State University think there are lessons to be learned from South Wales, a major coal producing region which faced a similar decline over a quarter century ago. WMMT’s Sylvia Ryerson has this report.