Despite a slowdown in U.S. consumption, coal is poised to replace oil as the world's top energy source — possibly in the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency. The rise will be driven almost entirely by new energy demands in China and India, the IEA says.
Federal prosecutors in West Virginia stepped higher up the corporate ladder at Massey Energy Wednesday with new criminal charges stemming from the investigation of the 2010 coal mine explosion that killed 29 workers.
David C. Hughart was president of Massey's Green Valley Resource Group, a major coal mining subsidiary based in Leivasy, W. Va., from 2000 to 2010.
Federal regulators have announced the results of a September inspection blitz targeting 13 coal mines in seven states "previously cited for violations regarding respirable dust sampling ... inadequate dust control ... and hazard complaints" involving excessive coal dust.
Undecided voters in Ohio got a lot of attention this week from President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney. Coal may be the key to many swing voters in the Buckeye State, which remains a top coal producer.
It's an issue weighing on coal miner Rick Carpenter's mind at the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival in southeastern Ohio.
"Save coal — fire Obama. Yeah, I've got one of those signs in my yard," he says.