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State, Regional Leaders to Discuss Impact of EPA Emission Standards on Coal Economy May 6th
April, 21 2014

Charleston, WV (April 21, 2014) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air emission regulations have helped facilitate the closure or planned closure of more than 160 coal generating units across the country, equating to over 22,000 megawatts of electricity.  New Source Performance Standards being proposed by EPA will make it nearly impossible to build new coal-based power plants in the future.  These regulations will further erode West Virginia’s coal economy.

The West Virginia Coal Forum in partnership with the Logan County Chamber of Commerce will conduct a meeting to discuss these green house gas emission standards and the impact to our state and the nation from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6th at Logan Country Club in Chapmanville, West Virginia. 

A variety of state and regional experts and policy leaders will speak at the event.  An agenda, to include speakers, will be released in the near future.  A buffet lunch will be served. 

Seating is limited and reservations are required.  To make a reservation please email Joel Watts at  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . There is no cost to attend the event.

Stakeholders in West Virginia’s mining economy – business leaders, association representatives, local legislators and policy leaders – are encouraged to attend. 

The West Virginia Coal Forum is an organization representing both labor and management in the coal industry.  For additional information, contact the West Virginia Coal Forum at (304) 957-2306, or visit the organization’s website atwww.wvcoalforum.org

State Board of Coal Mine Health & Safety Approves Rule on Proximity Detection Systems
April, 16 2014
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety unanimously approved a rule last week requiring proximity detection systems to improve the safety of underground coal miners. This comprehensive safety regulation is the first of its kind in the nation.

Board Administrator Joel Watts said the regulation will put West Virginia’s coal miners in a safer environment than what exists anywhere else in the world.

“West Virginia is once again at the forefront of underground mine safety and technology,” Watts said. “The Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety is committed to the safety of West Virginia’s coal miners. I am very pleased that the board met its 120-day deadline to enact this regulation. This regulation requires new training and equipment, and will result in a culture change in the state’s mining industry.” Watts also said that the board will reach out to federal partners at the Mine Safety and Health Administration to ensure all parties are on the same page.

The Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety is composed of members representing the viewpoints of the operators and labor. Its members are Chris Hamilton, WV Coal Association; Ted Hapney, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA); Terry Hudson, Patriot Coal; Carl Egnor, UMWA; Charles Russell, Arch Coal; and Gary Trout, UMWA.

Chris Hamilton, a member of the board and the executive vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association said, “The requirements embodied in this rule will serve to enhance miner safety by providing a comprehensive approach, including deployment of new mine safety technologies, additional safeguards and worker training provisions.”

“The UMWA is pleased that West Virginia has taken this important step,” said UMWA President Cecil E. Roberts. “We know that proximity detection devices can and will save lives. This rule will provide a strong foundation for continued improvements in coal miners’ safety in West Virginia, and, we hope, across the nation.”

For more information, contact Joel Watts at 304-957-2306.
W.Va, EPA & Coal Depression
April, 02 2014

By Cecil E. Roberts

Mike Payton has been working as a coal miner in Marion County for 10 years. He got out of school, went to work, started a family, bought a house and began his climb up the ladder of economic security that has for generations been the way out of poverty for people in the coalfields.

A member of the United Mine Workers of America, Mike shops at local stores, eats at local restaurants, takes his kids to local doctors and clinics. He and thousands more like him throughout America's coalfields have an immense impact on the economic and social fabrics of their communities.

Indeed, without them, many of those communities would dry up and vanish.

That's starting to happen. Average coal employment in the United States dropped 17.1 percent over the last two years. West Virginia alone lost more than 2,500 coal jobs over that time. Kentucky lost another 6,000 and coal employment there has dropped to the lowest level since 1927. That means that nearly $1 billion in wages and benefits has been ripped out of the economies of the largely rural West Virginia and Kentucky coalfield communities in just two years.

Read More

Confidential Document Revels the Sierra Club's Plan to Shut Down the Coal Industry
March, 27 2014

A major environmental group is launching a massive campaign to strangle the coal industry, push green energy sources and increase electricity prices for much of the country, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

TheDCNF obtained an internal Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign document from an anonymous source. The document lays out the environmental group’s $120 million campaign to decommission 105,000 megawatts of U.S. coal-fired power, prevent more coal from being mined or exported and push for more green energy production.

Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign’s main goals are to “stop the construction of a new fleet of coal plants… expedite the replacement of the existing fleet of coal plants with cleaner energy alternatives, with a goal of retiring all existing coal plants by 2030” and to “keep the massive U.S. coal reserves underground and out of international markets.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/26/confidential-document-revels-the-sierra-clubs-plan-to-shut-down-the-coal-industry/#ixzz2x6wcYGs8
EPA Facts Website
March, 14 2014
“EPA Facts is a project of the Environmental Policy Alliance dedicated to highlighting the high cost of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory actions and peeling back the layers of secrecy surrounding the agency’s actions.”
EPA Facts is not affiliated with the West Virginia Coal Forum, but contains valuable information we feel may be important in determining future decisions.

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Joel L. Watts

Chris Hamilton

Fred Tucker

Amid soaring fuel prices and energy crunches in various parts of the country, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank an old friend and applaud West Virginia's readily available and abundant energy source - Coal!

While many states who rely on natural gas, nuclear, oil and other base fuels for electric generation are facing extremely high bills this winter, West Virginia enjoys some of the lowest electric costs in the nation thanks to coal.

West Virginian's should be thankful that we have an inexpensive and dependable energy source to power our lives. Coal, it works for West Virginia


1615 Washington Street East - Charleston, WV 25301 - 304.957.2306