Fact Sheets: Revitalizing Appalachia

How to Strengthen Appalachia’s Industrial Economy

Third-generation coal miner Keith Johnson takes off his boots after working the graveyard shift in a coal mine in Evarts, Kentucky.

    See also: Revitalizing Appalachia: How Congress Can Correct Distortions in the Coal Market and Invest in Struggling Coal Communities by Gov. Ted Strickland, Greg Dotson, and Matt Lee-Ashley

    As Appalachian states work to recover from the Great Recession, a main concern is their industrial economy—in particular, the coal sector. The Appalachian coal community has been facing a steady decline, in part due to the country’s increased reliance on natural gas. While some are quick to argue that the barriers facing this community are driven by federal regulations to clean the air, a government policy that artificially props up coal production on federal lands has long undermined coal production in Appalachia. By ensuring that coal companies mining on federal lands pay their fair share, the federal government could generate millions of dollars in new revenue that could be directed toward revitalizing coal communities.

    For more information, see the following state fact sheets:

    Tiffany Germain is a Research Manager at the Center for American Progress.