(OILPRICE) — The economy in coal country is being left behind the rest of America.
Coal communities have long suffered from higher rates of poverty than many other parts of the country, but they now face an extended period of decline. In regions where coal mining makes up a disproportionate share of the economy, this portends economic pain for years to come.
The Washington Post has published several articles on the economic hardship people in coal-dependent communities experience, with a focus on West Virginia. One article asked whether local and regional economies put themselves at a disadvantage by becoming overly dependent on extractive industries as an engine for growth.
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In other words, was relying on coal a recipe for a stagnant economy from the start?