For over a century, coal from Appalachia helped drive the American economy. And while coal is still king in the nation’s energy portfolio, that dominance is facing huge challenges. New environmental laws, the global climate crisis and the emergence of renewable energy technologies are all reshaping the coal industry—and the culture of America’s “Coal Country.” But can coal still find a place in the shifting energy economy? And if so, what will the Future of Coal look like?
Photo: A panoramic view of a mountaintop removal coal mining operation in West Virginia. (Dennis Dimick via Flickr)