"We believe a significant portion of the decreased consumption of CAPP thermal coal is a structural phenomenon, and Alpha has accordingly substantially reduced its production of CAPP thermal coal through its recent restructuring activities. Furthermore, at today’s seaborne thermal coal prices in the Atlantic, most eastern U.S. production is uneconomic, adding to the difficult supply/demand environment and general market weakness."
"U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers recently announced major progress for efforts to bring a new maximum-security federal prison to Letcher County, one of the many Eastern Kentucky counties hard hit by the declining coal industry...If built, this will be the fourth new federal prison to come to Eastern Kentucky, and the sixth federal prison built in Central Appalachia, since 1992 — in addition to new state and private prisons. Indeed, in the last quarter-century of skyrocketing incarceration, Central Appalachia has become one of the most concentrated areas of prison growth in the country."
"With production cut in half and steeper declines on the way, King Coal’s reign in Central Appalachia is over. The question is “what comes next?” To learn where their own future may lie, Kentuckians look to other rural regions – and themselves – to learn about economic transition."