Appalachian Regional Commission Coal Industry Report

Recognizing the significant economic challenges facing the Appalachian Region due to the changing economics of America’s energy production, the Obama Administration
initiated the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative. The aim of POWER was to provide resources for communities and regions seeking
to diversify local economies, create jobs in existing or new industries, and leverage new sources of investment.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) participated in the initiative along with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and eight other federal agencies. ARC needed to strengthen its data-driven knowledge about the coal industry in Appalachia in terms of:

  • The economic contributions and trends of coal-related industries in the United States and Appalachia;
  • The geographic locations and concentrations of coal-related economic activity in Appalachia; and
  • Likely future scenarios for the coal industry in the United States and Appalachia, and the magnitude of economic loss that may await parts of the Appalachian Region.

Thus, the objectives of this paper on the U.S. and Appalachian coal industries were to:

  1. Complete a scan of data and research relevant to the coal industry ecosystem (e.g., production, power generation, supply chain linkages) in Appalachia;
  2. Present the most current, readily-available data and trends on coal-related industries, and synthesize information across numerous sources; and
  3. Suggest future in-depth research for ARC to consider to gain a more complete, detailed understanding of the coal industry ecosystem and economic implications in Appalachia.
Dan Hodge Executive Vice President dh@camecon.com