Many worried about future of coal after presidential election

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PIKEVILLE, Ky (WYMT) - There are mixed opinions about the future of coal in eastern Kentucky after Tuesday's presidential election.

Despite the uncertainty, there was some good news that came out of Pike County on Tuesday as well.

Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford announced that 150 laid off miners will be called back to work.

"I was elated. They said we are calling people back! We laid off 150 plus, two operations in Pike County," said Rutherford.

He says the unnamed company has already ordered equipment and is getting ready to notify miners which he says is a sign of the future of the industry.

"The coal industry is going to be fine. We've gone through the dips before, and coal is king and it will remain king," said Rutherford.

Despite that news, one laid off coal miner says he is still not sure what the future of coal is in eastern Kentucky.

"It would make a dent in the unemployment around here, but there are hundreds and hundreds of coal miners unemployed," said Travis Fields.

Out of work since September, Fields says he is looking to start training for jobs in other industries.

"It's been tough. Been having to sell some stuff and just scrap by the best we can," said Fields.

Judge Rutherford says he believes the coal industry will bounce back, especially once companies start exploring the export market.

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