FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Officials believe there are fewer coal jobs in Kentucky than there have been in more than 115 years.
News outlets report that a quarterly report from the state Energy and Environment Cabinet reveals that the number of coal jobs statewide dropped by 6.9 percent from April to June of this year.
In western Kentucky, coal jobs dropped 7.9 percent in the second quarter of 2016 while the number of jobs in the state's eastern region dropped 6.1 percent during that same time.
As of July 1, the estimated number of coal jobs remaining in Kentucky was 6,465, which officials say is the lowest mark since 1898.
A switch to natural gas, stricter federal regulations on coal designed to preserve the environment and the advance of renewable energy have contributed to the industry's plunge.
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