Thursday, February 9, 2012

Alpha Natural Resources Idling Coal Mines; Laying Off Over 300

Looks like the people described in this morning's post might actually have a good reason to drink. Back on October 12th of last year, in my post, "Peak Coal Hits Appalachia," I cited the following quote from a Huffington Post story:
Coal here is getting harder and costlier to dig – and the region, which includes southern West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee, is headed for a huge collapse in coal production.

The U.S. Department of Energy projects that in a little more than three years, the amount of coal mined here will be just half of what it was in 2008. That's a significant loss of a signature Appalachian industry, and the jobs that come with it.
Well, as reported by the Columbus Republic on Tuesday, it looks like that prediction is coming true:
Alpha Natural Resources says its decision to scale back production and idle some coal mines will cost 152 West Virginians and 168 Kentuckians their jobs in the coming weeks.

Media outlets say the West Virginia mines being idled include the No. 2 Gas Mine in Kanawha County and the Randolph Mine in Boone County, both underground operations.

Hours are being cut at Boone's Black Castle surface mine and the Progress/Twilight surface mine, and at Logan County's Camp Branch surface mine.

The Alloy Powellton Mine in Fayette County is eliminating one underground section.
So tell me again what happened to the "two hundred years' supply of coal" America supposedly has?

Bonus: We are not men, we are...coal miners?


  1. At least part of the reduction in production is likely due to the reduction in the use of coal for electricity production, a trend that I expect to continue for a number of years ahead.

  2. The 200 years supply of coal didn't go anywhere. When demand and market prices make it economically sensible to go after the coal that's still in the ground, it will still be there. If you were really thinking this market pull-back was based on diminished reserves I don't think I can take anything you say about the coal business seriously.

  3. I am a recruiter of over 17 years with sole focus on the Mining industry. I am currently searching for qualified individuals in underground coal open to Kentucky or Illinois. I would love to be of assistance to those in the area who are displaced or ready to take the next step. Please do not hesitate to call as well as reach out to those who you may know with my contact information listed below.
    Tammy Whiston
    614-340-9565 or 614-207-8372

  4. on May 11th 2012 Alpha Natural Resources Progress Coal/Twilight MTR surface mine location laid off approx. 100 employees and conntractors as well as announcing intentions for a further layoff or reduction to follow in July 2012