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China Clings to Declining Coal Industry

China's coal industry is crippled by oversupply as coal prices have dropped to their lowest level in a decade.

. Smoke belches from a coal-fueled power station near Datong, China on Nov. 19, 2015.

For decades coal has been the backbone of the northern province of Shanxi, providing livelihoods for millions of miners, while private jet owning bosses became notorious for their nouveau riche lifestyles.

Greg Baker / AFP - Getty Images

. Miners wait to enter the Tashan coal mine on Nov. 19.

China's "too big to fail" coal companies are crippled by oversupply and the lowest rate of economic growth for coal supply in 25 years.

Greg Baker / AFP - Getty Images

. Coal miners' clothes hang in the laundry at the Tashan mine on Nov. 19.

Greg Baker / AFP - Getty Images

. A worker sorts coal on a conveyer belt near a mine on Nov. 20.

Coal is the main industry of Shanxi province. It’s population of nearly 40 million is relatively poor.

Greg Baker / AFP - Getty Images

. Chinese flags fly as a worker clears a conveyer belt used to transport coal on Nov. 20.

Coal production has exacerbated China's dangerous smog problem, but economic needs are at odds with environmental and health concerns.

Gallery: Beijing Smog Reaches Peak Levels Stifling City

Greg Baker / AFP - Getty Images

. Workers sort coal on a conveyer belt on Nov. 20.

Greg Baker / AFP - Getty Images

. A woman takes a break from picking coal on Nov. 20.

Greg Baker / AFP - Getty Images

. Coal dust covers the face of a miner after his shift at the Tashan coal mine on Nov. 19.

Greg Baker / AFP - Getty Images

. A miner puts his headlamp battery on charger after his shift on Nov. 20.

Greg Baker / AFP - Getty Images

. A man stands in the doorway of his home in Datong on Nov. 20.

Greg Baker / AFP - Getty Images