The great majority of this country's coal production comes from Wyoming's Powder River Basin. The two leading producers there, Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) and Arch Coal (NASDAQOTH:ACIIQ), account for more than half the production in the entire basin, producing 139 million tons and 100 million tons, respectively, in 2012. But as coal demand in this country shrinks, Peabody and Arch have pinned their hopes on exports. Unfortunately, what these companies are finding is that exporting coal from ports on the Pacific coast is an increasingly contentious business.

These coal industry issues aren't new to Kinder  Morgan Energy Partners (UNKNOWN:KMP.DL), but they are increasingly more relevant as the partnership expands its footprint with a new business unit. In this video, Fool.com contributor Aimee Duffy discusses some challenges to the partnership's new natural resource mining venture.