The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Benham features an exhibition coal mine; artifacts from miners and their families; fossils; a 2-ton block of coal cut especially for the museum as a photo backdrop; and even items from the personal collection of country music star (and coal miner’s daughter) Loretta Lynn.
It also will soon have 80 solar panels on its roof to generate the electricity the facility needs, withthe excess helping to power the town of Benham. The switch to solar is expected to save the museum between $8,000 and $10,000 a year on its energy bill.
President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to bring coal to the forefront of America’s energy policy, in part by eliminating environmental protections and President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plant policy. Meanwhile, the coal industry has been declining for years, in part because other energy sources such as natural gas and renewables have become more cost-effective alternatives.