A good post here an the realities of coal, It's not coming back.
An open letter to America's coal miners, and to America
.. Coal’s contribution to the electrical picture dropped by 6 percent in a single year. That didn’t happen because of rules on carbon pollution that were never even made. It didn’t happen because of regulations on water pollution that never went into effect.
It happened because fracking for natural gas has made that fuel extremely abundant, and generators of electricity would much, much rather deal with gas than coal. Even when the gas itself is more expensive than coal, gas is easier to transport, easier to store, easier to burn. You don’t need expensive ash-removal on the smokestacks of a gas-powered plant, because gas doesn’t make ash. You don’t need to worry about where to bury ton after ton of clinkers left over when the coal is burned. There are no dams full of slurry to burst.
Better still, from the point of view of the people making electricity, gas generators are cheaper. You can buy them small and add on power gradually. Coal plants are big. They take a huge amount of money up front and don’t start making money for decades after construction.
That’s why there are no new coal plants under construction anywhere in the United States. None.
Forget the songs. Ignore the banners. You don’t sell coal to “America.” You sell it to Duke Energy, and Southern Company, and NRG and a few dozen others. That’s who buys coal. Only they’re buying less. And they’re going to keep buying less, until they’re buying none at all. Donald Trump isn’t going to change that. Short of passing a law that requires power companies to burn coal, which he won’t, there’s nothing that can stop it.
If Congress repealed every environmental law and every safety law that affects coal mining tonight, you know what would happen tomorrow? There would be fewer coal jobs. And fewer still the day after.
In fact, the regulations that Trump is repealing will make that happen faster. The rule that was changed on allowing more coal waste in streams won’t make new coal jobs. It will allow mining companies to replace underground mines with mountaintop removal mines. Those mines use far fewer people. When Trump signed that document and handed you the pen, what he was repealing was coal jobs