CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The coal industry was already hurting before the coronavirus, and the pandemic has made things much worse.
Lockdowns have shut off lights in offices and schools, sapping demand for electricity provided by coal-fired power plants.
Coal production in the U.S. is now expected to drop 25% in 2020.
The federal government hasn’t acted on the industry’s request for $822 million in relief or a union’s concerns about the safety of miners at risk of catching the virus.
The worldwide decline in electricity consumption has resulted in at least one benefit — clearer skies and lower pollution.