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An Economic Analysis of the Appalachian Coal Industry Ecosystem

January 2018
Eric Bowen, Mark L. Burton, Christiadi, David B. Clarke, Rebecca J. Davis, John Deskins, Randall Jackson, Péter Járosi, Brian Lego, Matthew Murray, Péter Schaeffer, and Charles Sims
West Virginia University and The University of Tennessee

This series of five ARC-commissioned reports explores some of the current and potential impacts of Appalachia’s declining coal production on elements of the coal ecosystem, including production and employment, supply chain industries, transportation, electric power generation, and human capital.

The first report in the series examines major trends in Appalachia’s coal economy over the last decade, while the second report offers county-level insights on the past and future supply chain implications of long-term coal industry decline in Appalachia. The third report examines how change in coal production is impacting freight rail access in the Region and how communities might preserve it. The fourth report provides an overview of the electric power industry in Appalachia, estimates the effects of a power plant retirement on county economic outcomes, and assesses risk factors for determining future plant retirements. The fifth report in the series discusses the human capital implications of employment losses in the coal industry ecosystem, focusing on future employment prospects for coal workers, and assesses potential changes in state and local K–12 education funding.

A detailed overview of the report series is available in the master executive summary.

Report Series
Master Executive Summary (PDF: 1.5 MB)
1: An Overview of the Coal Economy in Appalachia (PDF: 700 KB)
2: County-level CIE Supply Chain Analysis (PDF: 6 MB)
3: Transportation Implications of Coal (PDF: 2.5 MB)
4: The Economic Impacts and Risks Associated with Electric Power Generation in Appalachia (PDF: 3 MB)
5: Human Capital and the CIE (PDF: 3 MB)
Data File (Excel: 30 KB): This file provides information on the counties identified as Vulnerable, Hardship, or Depressed in the report County-level CIE Supply Chain Analysis, and the locations of power plant closures in the Appalachian Region between 2011 and 2015, as discussed in the report The Economic Impacts and Risks Associated with Electric Power Generation in Appalachia.