|Major elements of the coal industry's supply chain|
"As these suppliers are impacted, jobs are imperiled, and the fiscal health of communities is weakened," says the study's executive summary. "Displaced workers will need to seek alternative employment opportunities that may entail investments in formal education and training, and this takes both time and resources. As the economic base suffers, state and local governments will see their capacity to fund education weaken as well." The report found the greatest such impact in Mingo and Boone counties in West Virginia; Harlan, Leslie, Martin, Pike, and Perry counties in Kentucky; and Buchanan and Dickenson counties in Virginia.
|Changes in coal-fired power generation in Appalachia, 2005-2015|
The report said the impact of all these changes has been greatest in Eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, where coal resources are more depleted and thus more expensive to mine. It predicts "a modest recovery" in Central Appalachia" due to higher global demand for metallurgical coal," used to make steel. "Overall, however, expected improvements will capture only a small fraction of the decline that has been observed over the past decade."