Many US coal plants have been converted to natural gas which for years has benen pumped from Louisiana. This has reduced the number of underground and surface miners who essentially work in Wyoming the largest producer, WEst Virginia the seconf larghest producer, and Kentucky, the 3rd largest producer. Other states such as Pennsylvania and Alabama have active mines and employ miners but they do are a much smaller section of this industry.
Kentucky passes a law in 1981 due to pressure from people who objected to the royalty status of outside coporationjs who own nearly a1,000,000 surface acres abd 1,000,000 mineral rights which are under the surface.
Most of this is byween Interstate 64 and Interstate 75.