The United States coal mining industry is currently experiencing a decline in both demand and commodity price while facing implementation of more stringent air and water pollution regulations. Company profits have decreased significantly, forcing several major companies to declare bankruptcy. The industry was required to adapt to survive. Many of these companies have adjusted by abandoning mines; the last two decades have seen a drastic decrease in the number of mines. To discover the primary causes of this downturn, three major aspects must be studied: properties of abandoned mines, commodity history and regulatory impact.