Infographic: Three Charts about Energy in Appalachia
The region is known for its coal, but as that declines, natural gas has surged.
In popular culture in the United States, Appalachia has meant coal and coal has meant Appalachia. Politicians trying to earn votes in West Virginia, Kentucky, and sections of Pennsylvania and Ohio often put on hardhats to proclaim their love of mining and fossil fuels. In terms of energy production, though, coal is no longer the primary fuel source for U.S. electric generation, and Appalachia not the source of most of U.S. coal. As production shifted over the past decade, however, a new fossil fuel has risen up in former coal country: Natural gas extracted from shale formations.