Due to uncertainty surrounding demand for coal in the early 2000s, Consol began to place a greater emphasis on diversification, primarily into natural gas.Consol's first major natural gas investment was through the acquisition of MCN Energy Group Inc.'s methane reserves in southwestern Virginia for 0 million.In 2017, Consol formed two separate entities: CNX Resources Corporation and CONSOL Energy Inc. focuses on natural gas, spin-off Consol Mining Corporation, now Consol Energy Inc. In 2010, Consol was the leading producer of high-BTU bituminous coal in the United States and the U. Consol Energy was originally created in 1860 as the Consolidation Coal Company after several small mining companies in Western Maryland decided to combine their operations.The company was formally established in 1864 and headquartered in Cumberland, Maryland for the first 85 years (1864–1945), where the company became the largest bituminous coal company in the eastern United States.Consol also invested 0 million in a water treatment facility and paid a .5 million federal penalty to the U. Department of Justice and half to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection in 2011.As a producer of coal and natural gas, the environmental impact of coal mining and natural gas drilling has been a subject of controversy for Consol Energy.In 2007, CNX Gas also began investing heavily in natural gas exploration in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania.In 2010, Consol acquired Dominion Resources Inc.'s natural gas production and exploration assets for 3.74 billion dollars, which included nearly 500,000 acres of Marcellus potential, tripling Consol's position in the Marcellus to approximately 750,000 acres.
With the acquisition of the exploration and production business of Dominion Resources in 2010, the company has access to over 3.7 trillion cubic feet of proved clean-burning natural gas reserves in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, including coalbed methane and shale beds.The National Rifle Association intended to ask miners the question "How do you feel about having your Second Amendment rights taken away if Obama becomes president." Word spread among pro-Obama miners who contacted their union, the United Mine Workers of America, resulting in 440 miners taking the day off to avoid appearing in the ad in a contract-sanctioned protest, halting production at Consol's Blacksville No. Lobbying efforts on the part of Consol have also been an issue of controversy.