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Ky. coal jobs lowest since 19th century

A quarterly report released by Kentucky's Energy &Environment Cabinet shows job losses in the state during the recent period werethe highest since the report began publishing in late 2012.

According to the report, Kentucky coal mines employ 6,900miners, the lowest number ofminers in the state since 1898 when there were an average of 6,399Kentucky workers in the industry. Statewide coal production in the quarter wasat 11.3 million tons, the lowest level since 1939.

Coal production in the state was down 12.8%. EasternKentucky coal production was down 21.6% quarter to quarter. Surface mineproduction was down 28.0% in the period.

The report also states that Eastern Kentuckycoal prices decreased by 14.8% to an average of $48.72 per ton. WesternKentucky coal prices decreased by 3.4% to $47.64 per ton.

The report also noted that of the coal shippedfrom Kentucky to power plants in 2015, 13% went to power plants that announcedretirement or wereset to retire by the end of 2019.