The boom in production of oil and gas has lead to a decline in the nation’s coal industry, according to Bloomberg:
Pain is being felt from Appalachia to Wyoming as the U.S. reduces its dependence on coal to almost the lowest level in 63 years — the cost of the country becoming more energy self- sufficient through the production of more natural gas and oil.
Prices have retreated 57 percent from a record in June 2008 as coal’s share of U.S. electricity generation sank to a record low of 37 percent last year from 50 percent in 2005. Its future looks even bleaker after President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address that fighting climate change would be a second-term priority.
According to 2011 data from the federal Energy Information Administration, Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest coal producing state in the country, behind Wyoming, West Virginia and Kentucky.
Pennsylvania comes in sixth place nationally for natural gas production.