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You all would probably be better off looking towards new power sources and supplemental power sources instead of coal. It's just not profitable anymore. I don't know too much about where you live except you're kind in the middle of nowhere and I'm guessing there just aren't enough power generating plants overall to make your rates competitive because it's not populated enough? Again, guessing. In my area my power company (AEP) sends me an update occasionally with a pie chart showing where are power comes from and we've got coal, nuclear, gas and wind all listed there. They just built a new gas fired power plant right up the road from me and I'm glad they did, my costs have gone down a lot since they built that thing. Fracking is going on everywhere.
If there were state tax incentives for people like you to install one or two solar panels, you might be able to lower your energy costs. I'm a firm believer in diversification of energy. Individual (solar panels) is a good place to start. I think if everyone were able to install a solar panel or two on their homes, we'd all be better off and most of us could at least operate our refrigerators if the power was knocked out by weather.