Kentucky coal production and employment fell by the smallest amount in nearly two years, according to new data.
The state’s coal mines produced 6.5 million tons in the first three months of 2021, according to the Energy and Environment Cabinet, a decline of 9.6% from 2020.Total employment fell by 14.6% to 3,983 workers.
Western Kentucky continued to outpace Eastern Kentucky in production, with 4.3 million tons mined in the west and 2.3 million tons mined in the east.
One western Kentucky county, Union, produced more coal than the entire eastern coalfield.
Total employment remained higher in the east, with 2,366 workers. Western Kentucky mines employed 1,617 workers.