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MORGANTOWN — The West Virginia Coal Forum hosted a gathering of coal industry leaders and professionals in Morgantown Tuesday afternoon to discuss the state of the industry and the most recent developments in regulations and research.

The conference was attended by more than 75 professionals representing various aspects of the industry including coal operating personnel, academic researchers, coal-related business owners and mine safety officials.

The Coal Forum is hitting the road! West Virginia's coal industry is entering a whole new world, and we are bringing industry updates to your community.

The 2017 and Beyond series will provide the latest information on federal and state policies, industry trends and legal activity affecting coal production and employment. Mark your calendars today!

2017 Kick-off Coal Forum Events:

  • June 29: Charleston

Future events will be scheduled in Wheeling, Logan and Bluefield. Stay tuned for more details!

2017 AND BEYOND Online Registration

 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Coal Forum is applauding the new attitude towards the coal industry coming from Washington.

President Donald J. Trump signed a congressional resolution of disapproval on Feb. 16, overturning the U.S. Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation’s Stream Protection Rule (SPR). This rule, which was released just before the new year, would have made as much as 70 percent of Americas coal reserves impossible to mine. The rule was touted as one to protect streams, but the true impact on waterways would have been negligible while the rule curtailed underground coal mining was curtailed to a great degree.

It is our time to lead the way and to partner with our president and federal government to take the reins of our domestic energy assets and the policies that govern them.

As coal markets begin to blossom, we must be prepared to move quickly and offer the finest quality coal, produced by the best miners in the world, at the lowest price possible. A more competitive tax structure and a continued modernization of mining rules are just two macro-level policies we should pursue.

As a state, we must aggressively pursue homegrown coal consumption. We only consume roughly 30 percent of all the coal we mine in West Virginia. By increasing this total, we will provide security for our in-state coal operations, their output and a greater chance of reaping the benefits here at home.

The Legislature acted during the 2016 session to secure the percentage of West Virginia coal that is consumed within our borders by providing an incentive for utilities to upgrade in-state coal plants to continue consuming “local” coal in an environmentally clean fashion.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Coal Forum is urging Congress to make the REINS Act one of the first bill to land on the next President’s desk for approval.

The REINS Act, or Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, would prevent major new rules – those with an economic impact of $100 million or more -- from taking effect until they are approved by Congress.

“We at the Coal Forum have seen how dramatically agency rules can affect a state like West Virginia when those rules are crafted without serious attention paid to their economic impact,” said Coal Forum Co-Chairman Chris Hamilton. “The REINS Act will give Congress the opportunity to review major agency rules before they go into effect.”

The West Virginia Coal Forum is encouraged by news that a major power company will be upgrading its facilities to preserve coal-fired electric power generation.

First Energy announced Wednesday that the company will be able to make necessary improvements to its facilities to comply with federal standards and continue to use coal, thanks to action taken by the West Virginia Legislature during the 2016 session.

“We at the Coal Forum extend a huge thank you to the Legislature for passing the Modernization and Improvement Plan act,” said Chris Hamilton, co-chairman of the Coal Forum, which is an organization representing business and labor in the coal industry. “Passage of this legislation is a testament to the legislative leadership’s commitment to doing whatever is necessary to preserve coal-fired electricity in West Virginia. First Energy’s announcement is proof that good legislation can make a big impact in just a short amount of time.”