Western Kentucky Coal Mine Closing in Early 2020

Dec 27, 2019

A coal mine in Ohio County will close in a couple of months, forcing the layoff of about 250 workers. 

In a WARN notice sent to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training on Thursday, the Western Kentucky Coal Company announced plans to close its Genesis Mine in Centertown on Feb. 24. 

The decision comes after parent company Murray Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October. Murray Energy also owns Midway Mine in Centertown and Pride Mine in Muhlenberg County. 

Coal companies are struggling to stay afloat as industries switch from coal to cheaper and cleaner forms of energy. 

"These decisions were difficult, but the extremely depressed coal marketplace dictated these changes," Murray Energy Assistant General Counsel Jason Witt said in a statement.

Ohio County Judge-Executive David Johnston didn't return a call from WKU Public Radio, but told WFIE-TV the closure will not only impact employees, but will also lower the amount of coal severance money the county receives from coal production.