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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- A big hit is coming to Kentucky's mining industry. Arch Coal is planning to eliminate 750 jobs. Kentucky Coal Association President says the lay offs will occur in the eastern part of the state.
The St. Louis-based company says its subsidiaries will close three mining complexes -- two in Kentucky and one in West Virginia. It is temporarily idling another complex in Kentucky and curtailing production at other operations in the three states.
Mining work accounts for some of the best-paying jobs in these areas. Local leaders worry the layoffs reflect a larger decline in the region's coal production.
Arch Coal is one of the world's top five coal producers.
Gov. Beshear Responds to Layoffs at Arch Coal
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 21, 2012) "We are extremely disappointed and disheartened by the announcement from Arch Coal today, as we know the announcement of significant layoffs in Kentucky is devastating news for hundreds of Kentucky families.
I have authorized the mobilization of our Education and Workforce Development Cabinet's Rapid Response Teams to assist these employees in the transition from their jobs to beginning a search for new work, starting new workforce training or enrolling in classes to prepare them for the next stage of their careers. These teams will also ensure the families are aware of assistance available from state and federal services during this difficult time. We will adapt the roles and services of these teams as needed to make certain that our affected families are equipped to handle this challenge.
As unfortunate as this news is, it cannot be said that it was wholly unexpected. Demand for coal is at a 20-year low, thanks to a rapidly shifting energy market and high inventory. Unpredictable federal regulation processes have also hindered legal mining efforts, and we will continue to fight the unfair regulatory changes that effectively delay or halt our mining projects."
McConnell Comments on Layoffs at Arch Coal
Washington, D.C.- U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following comment on Thursday regarding the layoffs of coal miners in Kentucky:
"This is another devastating blow to Kentucky's mining community and the families who rely on coal for their livelihoods. Our coal miners are some of the hardest working Americans, and it's heart-breaking that the Obama Administration's war on coal has yet again contributed to more job losses in this industry."