Here’s how this West Virginia town is dealing with a fading coal industry

For years, US politicians have been promising to bring jobs and prosperity back to the country’s struggling coal-producing states. But according to a short documentary produced by VICE News Tonight, that task has proven more difficult that it seemed as in many of those places coal is vanishing just as fast as their jobs.

VICE News Tonight correspondent Josh Hersh talked to residents of Whitesville, West Virginia, who believe the town’s future is local businesses and tourism.

“We want to do the field of dreams approach — if you build it they will come,” says David Hodges, one of the locals who believe in diversifying away from coal. He is planning on opening a grocery store, which will make it one of the first new businesses around in years.

The news comes on the heels of a report by the International Energy Agency that claims the embattled US coal sector must close more mines in the coming years before it can return to health.

You can watch the full segment here: