coal mining


An agreement has been reached between the United States Department of Labor, Blackjewel, LLC, and Blackjewel Marketing and Sales Holdings to pay back due wages to miners in Eastern Kentucky.

Tulsa World

Gov. Matt Bevin today announced that more than $15 million in excess coal severance tax revenue will be allocated to 49 counties and 122 municipalities that qualify to receive funds from the Local Government Economic Assistance Fund (LGEAF) coal severance program.


Gov. Matt Bevin today announced that the Labor Cabinet will open an investigation into Blackjewel LLC, an affiliate of Revelation Energy LLC, a coal company operating in the Commonwealth, regarding reports of unpaid wages for coal miners in Eastern Kentucky.

The Labor Cabinet enforces Kentucky’s wage payment laws and will undertake an investigation into the company’s reported failure to pay employees for time worked. According to complaints received already by the Labor Cabinet, Blackjewel issued paychecks to employees that “bounced” or could not be cashed.

Carter Caves hosts Mining Show

Apr 3, 2018
Smithsonian Magazine

Carter Caves State Resort Park will host the 8th Annual Eastern Mining Artifact Show this Saturday. WMKY’s Logan Pemberton has the story…

Best 2000+

Learn about the history of mining or buy a few antiques at the Eastern Mining Collectors Association’s annual Spring Meet and Show at Carter Caves State Resort Park on Saturday, April 7.

Vendors from across the country will be at the show to sell, buy and trade mining artifacts used in the mining of coal, gold, silver and copper. The artifacts include lamps, mine signs, photos, posters and other items. Vendors can also identify and give free appraisals of mining-related items that you might have hidden in your attic, basement or barn.

Daily Yonder

U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) today announced five grants worth more than $5 million to spur economic development and job creation in Eastern Kentucky. 

Two of the grants were awarded by the EEC’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands, as part of the 2016 Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot program to revitalize the coalfields in Kentucky’s Appalachian region.


The Eastern Mining Collectors Association will hold its sixth annual Spring Meet and Show at Carter Caves State Resort Park on April 1.

Learn about the rich history of coal mining in Eastern Kentucky at this free event!


A 42-year-old coal miner was killed Thursday in an accident in an underground Pike County mine. Ray Hatfield, of Hi Hat Ky., a conveyor belt attendant with 23 years of experience, suffered fatal injuries inside the R&C Coal LLC Mine No. 2 in Pikeville.

The mine was shut down after the fatality and continues to be closed on Friday while an investigation into the fatal accident continues. The Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, Division of Mine Safety, sent investigators to the mine Thursday night and they remain on scene.

Ongoing Battle for Retired Miners' Benefits

Nov 14, 2016
Public News Service

Legislation to protect healthcare and pension benefits for around 120,000 former coal miners and their families is stuck in the U.S. Senate, where Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell is in charge. The majority leader has kept the Miners' Protection Act from coming to the floor.

Steve Brewer worked underground in Pike County for 21 years, until he broke his back in a mining accident. Brewer said it's time for Congress to honor a 70-year-old promise guaranteeing miners lifetime benefits.


East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) and its 16 owner-member electric cooperatives have released a second documentary film examining the effects of Eastern Kentucky’s declining coal industry on the region’s residents.

The film, “The People At The End Of The Lines,” documents the impacts on laid-off coal miners, local schools and people struggling to pay household bills.

Mining Global

State Senator Steve West says federal coal policy has been very unfair to the industry, even as it has worked to deliver its product in much cleaner ways.

The Bourbon County (Kentucky) Republican, whose district includes Morehead, says new regulations on coal-fired plants have severely impaired the market for coal.       

West says, as a result, the employment of miners has fallen from about 14,000 in 2009 to fewer than 7,000 today.


The Martin County man who serves as president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity says the loss of mining jobs in Appalachia is just part of the economic impact of increased environmental regulation of the industry.

Mike Duncan made his comments earlier this week on C-Span’s Washington Journal.       

McConnell Invites Obama To Visit Kentucky

Jul 10, 2014

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell is making another pitch for a Presidential visit to Kentucky’s coal country. The Republican lawmaker renewed his request on the Senate floor on Wednesday (July 9).

McConnell says Kentuckians are telling him at community forums across the Commonwealth they’re worried about the impact of new environmental regulations on the coal industry and their impact on utility rates.

Rogers Opposes EPA Coal Industry Policies

Mar 28, 2014
Congressman Hal Rogers

Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers is accusing the Environmental Protection Agency of waging a “relentless attack on jobs in the coal industry.”

The Somerset Republican leveled the charge directly to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Thursday (March 27) during a budget hearing in Washington.

Rogers claims the agency’s interpretation of environmental rules and its design of new regulations has made it almost impossible to mine coal and cost the jobs of eight thousand Kentucky miners.

Coal Mine Inspections Restored

Mar 27, 2014

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers says after consideration, his chamber will likely restore the number of state mine inspections in the state budget.

The Senate’s version of the budget initially reduced the number of mandatory mine inspections from six per year to just two. That drew criticism from the state Energy and Environment Cabinet, which said it would put coal miners at increased risk.

Coal Industry Bill Headed To House Floor

Mar 20, 2014

A state House panel has unanimously approved a bill to provide tax incentives to the ailing coal industry.

House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins says his bill will permit tax breaks on machinery and manufacturing for coal-related companies. The Democrat says the breaks are similar to incentives enjoyed by car manufacturing plants in the state and reduce economic strain on the industry.

Coal Producer Fined For Clean Water Act Violations

Mar 5, 2014
ABC Tropical North

One of the nation's largest coal producers will pay the largest fine of its type ever levied for violations of the Clean Water Act.

Alpha Natural Resources has agreed to a settlement to pay more than 27 million dollars in fines and spend another 200 million dollars to reduce illegal toxic discharges into waterways across five Appalachian states, including Kentucky.

Western Kentucky Coal Miner Files Discrimination Lawsuit

Feb 19, 2014

Four cases alleging a Western Kentucky coal company repeatedly discriminated against a miner for reporting unsafe working conditions were filed last week.

Patrick Shemwell was fired twice by Ken American Resources in Muhlenberg County.

The first time, he filed six lawsuits, outlining ways the company had retaliated against him for reporting incidents to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and refusing to work in unsafe conditions. The company settled, and Shemwell got his job back.

Coal Jobs Continue To Decline

Feb 5, 2014
Coal Campus USA

The latest report from the Kentucky Energy Cabinet shows more bad news for the commonwealth's declining coal industry. The cabinet released numbers this week showing a loss of more than 2,300 jobs in 2013.

This marks the third straight year of declining coal jobs in the state, and most of those losses have been in eastern Kentucky. Production in the region is also declining and was eclipsed by coal production in the western coalfields.

SOAR Summit To Address Appalachian Concerns

Dec 6, 2013

A former Harlan County coal miner and member of the organization Kentuckians for the Commonwealth has sent a letter to Governor Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers in advance of a SOAR meeting in Pikeville on Monday (Dec. 9). Carl Shoupe serves on the KFTC’s New Energy and Transition Committee.

Geologist on Coal Decline

Oct 31, 2013
Power Engineering

Geology and economics are working against coal mining in eastern Kentucky and that points to a troubled future for the industry…That’s the view of Dr. Zane Selvans who is a geologist with the environmental organization Clean Energy Action.

Selvans says much of the coal still left in the Appalachian region is buried deep in the ground and requires large investments to extract it. He says that situation coupled with the growth of the natural gas business has created financial difficulty for coal companies…

Black Lung Disease Topic At Symposium

Aug 26, 2013
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Over the decades, great gains have been made in reducing black lung disease among coal miners.  But, recently, the sometimes fatal condition has seen an increase.

Fifty years ago, Central Appalachian Education and Research Center Director Wayne Sanderson says about a third of all miners contracted black lung.  Today, the potentially deadly disease afflicts about four to five percent of miners.  And, Sanderson says, that number’s climbing.

MSHA Working To Improve Coal Mine Safety

Aug 22, 2013
Industrial Archeology & History

It’s never happened, but a leading official in the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration believes a fatality-free year in coal mining is achievable. 

Joe Main, who the Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Mine Safety and Health Administration was in Lexington for the Central Appalachian Regional Work Safety and Health Symposium.  Just forty years ago, before the U-S Mine Safety Act, Main says a miner was killed every day.  Last year, he says, 36 American miners died…with 20 of them claimed by coal.