Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
The Economics of Kentucky Coal

The Economics of Kentucky Coal

Curtis E. Harvey
Copyright Date: 1977
Pages: 192
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Economics of Kentucky Coal
    Book Description:

    The energy problem confronting the United States has focused attention on Kentucky's coal. Mr. Harvey here presents a comprehensive analysis of the coal industry in Kentucky, which consistently produces more than a fifth of the nation's coal. Because the coal industries in eastern and western Kentucky differ in many respects, Mr. Harvey has analyzed them separately. Although faced with competition from the foreign oil market, prospects for eastern Kentucky coal seem favorable because of its high quality and easy access to markets. The future of the coal industry in western Kentucky, Mr. Harvey asserts, depends upon implementation and enforcement of air-pollution standards, pending legislation regulating strip mining, fuel-import prices and policies, foreign currency fluctuations, and other factors. He foresees a moderate growth in the coal industry over the next five to ten years.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6173-0
    Subjects: Economics, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xvi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  4. 1. The Demand and Supply of Kentucky Coal
    (pp. 1-16)

    To come to grips with what is commonly regarded as the energy problem, it is important to consider briefly the composition of our energy-resource inventory which consists of oil, natural gas, nuclear power, and coal. The first three—the glamor resources of the post-World War II era—have been the subject of voluminous research studies for years; coal has not. Its appeal to serious researchers has been minimal at best, probably because coal has been a declining industry until only very recently.¹ Following World War II, the railroads, then coal’s largest customer, switched from coal-fired steam locomotives to diesel engines,...

  5. 2. The Eastern Kentucky Coal Industry
    (pp. 17-94)

    The eastern Kentucky coal industry is part of the Appalachian Coal Basin. In addition to eastern Kentucky, the basin includes regions in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and Alabama (see Map 2). The last three areas, however, produce relatively little coal; most coal comes from the four major northernmost regions of the basin. The basin clearly dominates the eastern third of the nation and represents an important part of the nation’s energy resource base (see Map 3). Table 5 shows the relative quantities of coal produced in 1974 by each of the regions in the basin. In terms of...

  6. 3. The Western Kentucky Coal Industry
    (pp. 95-150)

    The western Kentucky coal industry, which differs greatly in character and structure from its eastern Kentucky counterpart, is a major sector of the Kentucky economy. In 1975 western Kentucky mines produced 53 million tons of coal and provided employment for more than 9,000 men.¹ Nearly one-fourth of all persons employed in Kentucky mining worked in western Kentucky. In several counties, the importance of coal mining is greater than state statistics indicate. For example, in Muhlenberg County, the coal industry provided 28 percent of total 1974 employment.

    The coal-producing counties of western Kentucky are part of the large Eastern Interior Coal...

  7. 4. The Future Use of Energy Resources
    (pp. 151-158)

    Current technology makes possible the use of four major types of energy resources: coal, petroleum, natural gas, and uranium 235. In the future, others such as shale oil, uranium 238, and even solar energy may join the group, but for the present the former head the list. Converting energy resources into BTU equivalents, an accepted though not altogether meaningful practice, points to coal as a major energy resource available in the near term.¹ Table 95 shows the four major energy resources by location and type of fuel. Of the four fuels, only petroleum, coal, and natural gas are obtainable at...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 159-164)
  9. Bibliography
    (pp. 165-168)
  10. Index
    (pp. 169-173)