WV coal protest: mineA coal mine in West Virginia.

From the Louisville Courier-Journal:

Kentucky coal producers have reached an agreement to export 9 million tons of coal annually to India for the next 25 years in a $7 billion deal.

Gov. Steve Beshear’s office announced Wednesday that New Jersey-based FJS Energy LLC signed the deal with India’s Abhijeet Group to purchase coal exports from Kentucky and West Virginia through Kentucky-based affiliates FJSE Marshall and FJSE River Coal.

Problems with coal production and quality were cited as a factor in India’s sweeping blackouts last month, so it’s not surprising that the country is bulking up its supply.

For context, in the first quarter of 2012, the U.S. produced 266 million tons of coal. Kentucky accounts for 10 percent of American production.