A fatal mining accident in the hills of Pennsylvania, the subsequent suicide of the mine's owner, and the forced abandonment of eight of the last twelve surviving anthracite mines in the United States. These are the recent plagues that have defined the once proud and prosperous tradition of anthracite coal mining. They are also the tragedies that have prompted the drastic transformation of this feature documentary. HARD COAL: LAST OF THE BOOTLEG MINERS explores the near eradication of this group of hard-working Americans who merely wish, as their fathers and grandfathers before them, to provide for their families while helping their country develop a sustainable energy policy. They don't want to receive welfare. They don't want to go to prison. They don't want to die in an accident or by their own hands. They just want to mine the anthracite whose veins run deep through their native soil.