COAL: Regulation Illegal?

The bituminous coal industry has not had a profitable year since 1925. Price wars, bootless labor squabbles, excess capacity, invasion of its markets by fuel oil, gas and water power have starved it. Its rachitic bones show through in dingy, paint-scaled mining towns, in the pay average of its workers: $902 (before deductions) last year, although their daily wage scale is $6 ($5.60 in the South). Prime exemplar of old-fashioned atomic competition, the industry has 13,500 producers, none of whom does 5% of the total business.

Easiest short-term remedy for coal's ills is enforced price-fixing. But last week, as the Interior...

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