COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say Ohio coal sales dropped by 31 percent last year.
The Department of Natural Resources reports Ohio coal sold in 2015 had a market value of about $753 million, putting it below $1 billion for the first time since 2007.
The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2gtNeI2 ) reports a drop was expected because of the long-term shift to fueling power plants with less expensive natural gas.
Still, coal-industry leaders have optimism because of the election of Republican Donald Trump as president and his comments about rewriting environmental rules and bringing back coal jobs. The president of the Ohio Coal Association says it's giving the industry hope.
Over half of Ohio's coal production last year came from Belmont County. Coal producers were active at 43 mines, mostly in eastern and southeastern Ohio.
Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com