Coal in Trouble

November 19, 1954

Report Outline
Critical Situation of the Coal Industry
Sick Coal Industry and the Government
Self-Help Measures and Future of Coal
Special Focus

Critical Situation of the Coal Industry

Recommendations for long-range government policy toward the vital but chronically depressed American coal industry are looked for in a report due to be submitted to President Eisenhower within the next fortnight by the Committee on Energy Supplies and Resources Policy. The committee, composed of cabinet members under the chairmanship of Director of Defense Mobilization Flemming, has had a task force at work for the past two months on a study of the coal industry and of petroleum and natural gas resources. When the President set up the cabinet committee, last July 30, he asked it to report with recommendations by Dec. 1.

Proposals for a price stabilization program, comparable to that carried out under federal legislation in the 1930s and early 1940s, are not called for by present conditions in the coal industry, nor are they likely to be favored by members of President Eisenhower's cabinet. However, other measures requiring government action, such as limitation of imports of competing residual fuel oil and various steps to magnify the role of coal in the nation's fuel economy, are within the realm of possible recommendations. Meanwhile, the industry is well aware of the fact that it must continue its own efforts to improve its competitive position by independent action.

Latest Reverses in Chronically Ailing Industry

Production of soft coal this year is running about 17 per cent below last year's levels. The hard coal situation is much the same, with production off about 15 per cent. Total bituminous production in 1954 is expected to be substantially under the totals maintained over most of the past decade; anthracite production, only around one-half of what it was ten years ago. About one-fourth fewer miners are at work in the soft coal fields this year than last year, and employment in both hard and soft coal is lower than it has been since before the turn of the century.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Coal Industry
Jun. 17, 2016  Coal Industry's Future
Jun. 24, 2011  Mine Safety
Oct. 05, 2007  Coal's Comeback
Mar. 17, 2006  Coal Mining Safety
Apr. 21, 1978  America's Coal Economy
Oct. 25, 1974  Coal Negotiations
Nov. 19, 1954  Coal in Trouble
Apr. 04, 1952  Coal Supply and European Rearmament
Jan. 22, 1947  Labor Costs and the Future of Coal
Jul. 24, 1935  Stabilization of the Bituminous Coal Industry
Jan. 01, 1929  The Anthracite Coal Situation
Dec. 01, 1928  The Bituminous Coal Situation
Jun. 30, 1927  The Bituminous Coal Strike
Aug. 15, 1925  The Bituminous Coal Problem
Aug. 01, 1925  Strike Emergencies and The President
Jul. 25, 1925  Miners' Wages and the Cost of Anthracite