Coal miners return on a buggy after working a shift underground at the Perkins Branch Coal Mine in Cumberland, Oct. 15, 2014 (AP Photo/David Goldman).

U.S. coal production is down to its lowest level in four decades. This further indicates a decline of American coal mining as it faces stiffer competition from cleaner and cheaper sources of power.

Coal production in 2019 was just 7 percent lower overall than production in 2018; however, that figure is part of a larger trend of coal production easing since production peaked in 2008.

Production is expected to decline again next year, even as Trump tries to marshal the power of the federal government to reverse the trend and rescue the industry.

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