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Decades in decline, coal has emerged as a defining issue in Virginia's race for governor
Reported by: Associated Press
Saturday, October 5, 2013 9:11 AM EDT
Coal has emerged as a defining issue in the race for governor in Virginia.
The political debate centers on potential job losses that southwest Virginia's coal industry would sustain under the guidelines.
But in Virginia, mining and miners have been shed at a steady pace over the last two decades, primarily for geological rather than political reasons. Those declines began well ahead of this pitched race for governor.
A number of factors have contributed to the decline, but the industry and analysts say the primary reason is fewer accessible coal reserves to mine in Virginia.