· As coal production falls, calls grow for a 'just economy' for Kentucky communities. By Eva McKend Washington, PUBLISHED 7:03 AM ET Jul. 22, 2021 PUBLISHED 7:03 AM EDT Jul. 22, 2021. SHARE. WASHINGTON, — A new report by the Department of Energy says last year, American coal production fell to its lowest level since 1965. While some environmentalists say it's .