Coal mines in Kentucky and West Virginia will send millions of tons of coal to India, under the terms of a 25-year contract that was signed Wednesday. The deal is being hailed as a sign of hope in the coal export market.
The Associated Press reports that government inspectors have been keeping watch over coal operators through aerial surveillance in Central Appalachia, a region in which mountaintop removal mining has been controversial. The Kentucky Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement has spent more than $477,000 over the past four years for helicopter flights.
One of the world's largest coal producers says it will lay off about 750 workers in the Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia coalfields. It's the latest setback for an industry struggling for market share as utilities switch to cleaner and cheaper alternatives.