Adaptation, culture, and the energy transition in American coal country

Sanya Carley, Tom P. Evans, David M. Konisky

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

113 Scopus citations


The U.S. coal industry has experienced economic decline over the past several decades, which has resulted in a loss of mining jobs and severe economic hardship in many coal communities. Recent efforts to relax environmental regulations are ostensibly intended to help relieve this hardship and to revitalize this industry. Based on evidence gathered from focus groups and interviews conducted in U.S. coal communities, we argue that coal communities that have experienced mine closures have already begun an economic and social transition, one that is based on reshaping their culture and sense of identity, and false promises to return coal jobs can be destructive to the progress that has been made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Coal communities
  • Energy policy
  • Energy transition
  • Environmental regulations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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