A week after NPR examined how cheap natural gas prices are undermining the coal industry, PBS Coals is laying off 225 employees. As the AP reports, that’s about a quarter of the company’s workforce:
PBS Coals Inc., of Somerset, issued a statement Friday announcing the cutbacks, but did not immediately specify which mines will be idled. The company says the production schedules for mines that remain open will be “adjusted to matchmarket demand.”
PBS reported earlier this year that it had roughly 1,000 employees.
Company president and chief executive officer D. Lynn Shanks says “foreign and domestic coal markets remain soft due to weak economic growth and activity.” But Shanks says “escalating costs and uncertainty generated by recently advanced EPA regulations and interpretations have created a challenging business climate for the entire coal industry.“