Coal producers have loudly opposed the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon dioxide emission limits, because regulating the greenhouse gas would deal a blow to an industry already facing headwind from cheaper natural gas and previous environmental rules. And unlike utilities, coal producers will not be able to recoup the cost from ratepayers. But the EPA’s latest proposals are not expected to deliver a knockout punch for the strongest companies in the sector, analysts said. While Missouri has no significant coal mines of its own, it is home to several coal mining companies that employ hundreds of people in the St. Louis region. In addition to Creve Coeur-based Arch Coal and Patriot Coal, privately held Foresight Energy controls more than 3 billion tons of Illinois coal reserves and is based in St. Louis.