Low Coal is an exploration of what it's like to live with the coal industry. Telling the stories of activists and injured miners, Low Coal makes the case that strong and resilient Appalachian communities are paying a heavy price for the benefits to the region that the coal industry provides. This price is paid by the people in the areas around the mines, whether or not they have a formal relationship with the mining industry. The film profiles UMWA members who have worked to improve conditions in the deep mines, and shows what it was like for the community around the Upper Big Branch mine disaster. It also shows what it's like for people who are having their family histories and communities destroyed by Mountaintop Removal. The film makes a strong effort to distinguish between purely profit-driven mine companies, like Massey Energy, and the individuals who are tasked with doing difficult, dangerous, and thankless work of mining coal.