West Virginia Coal Mining Symposium 2016 Agenda

McKinley to Host Energy Town Hall in Fairmont

West Virginia 1st District Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., will hold a Town Hall Meeting on “West Virginia’s Economy: Coal, Natural Gas and What’s Next” this Thursday, November 12, 2015 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. (Doors open at 6:00 p.m.) in Fairmont.  Specifically, it will be convened at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center – Exhibition Hall; 1000 Galliher Drive; Fairmont, WV 26554.  To RSVP or for more information contact Libby Reasbeck, Field Representative at (304) 232-3801.

Association's Environmental Workshop a Success

The Association acknowledges and thanks the sponsors and the more than 200 who attended the recent Environmental Workshop in Charleston.  The wide range of topics included updates on current water quality standards, endangered species’ policies and regulations, a critical overview of the Clean Power Plan and OSM’s Stream Protection Rule as well as a discussion of the current political and legislative situation in West Virginia.  Environmental & Technical Committee Chairman John McDaniel and our own Jason Bostic, who also made presentations, said the Workshop would not have been possible without the able and professional assistance of our talented and informed presenters, which included Barry Thacker, P.E. Geo/Environmental Associates, Inc.; Jennie Henthorn, Henthorn Environmental Services; Allyn Turner, Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC; Varun Shekhar and Christopher “Kip” Power of Babst Calland; Robert McLusky, Jackson Kelly PLLC; and Mike Castle, Strategic Solutions.

Comments Filed on OSM's SMCRA Re-Write Known as the "Stream Protection Rule"

On October 26, 2015 the Association filed extensive comments on the federal Office of Surface Mining's proposed "Stream Protection Rule".  Published for comment in July 2015, the SPR is a fundamental re-write of the federal surface mining regulations covering everything from issues related to mining-related fill construction to potential subsidence from underground mining operations. 

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection also filed comments on the proposed rule.  94,328 comments were received by OSM on the proposal.  For a copy of the Association's comments on the proposed rule contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

'The Coal Seam' for November features Coal Mine Sculptor Burl Jones

The November episode of The Coal Seam is now airing and features a show about the West Virginia Coal Miners Memorial Statue on the Capitol grounds in Charleston. Host Chris Hamilton is joined by very special guest Burl Jones, the internationally renowned sculptor who created the memorial.  The Coal Seam is a monthly program on the West Virginia Library Commission Television Network that reaches approximately 577,000 households across the state via public access television cable stations.  It is available on your local cable television public access channels throughout West Virginia, including Suddenlink Channel 17 in the Charleston area. It is also vid-cast via the WV LTN website at http://www.librarycommission.wv.gov/programs/ltn/videoserver/Pages/coalseam.aspxand is available on the West Virginia Coal Association website at www.wvcoal.com.

Friends of Coal Ladies' Auxiliary Update

The Friends of Coal Ladies’ Auxiliary (FOCLA) continues to work hard to raise awareness of the good things the state’s coal industry does for West Virginia and its people by taking a very active role in community activities. Their recent and continuing activities include:

·        Their online store featuring trademarked Friends of Coal items is active at www.friendsofcoalladies.com, which also features their 2015 DVD from the 100th AnniversaryCoal Association Meeting this summer. 

Read more: Friends of Coal Ladies' Auxiliary Update

Governor Tomblin Appoints "Rick" Atkinson, III to 11th House District Seat

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has named Martin "Rick" Atkinson III to replace former Delegate Bob Ashley in the 11th District for the West Virginia House of Delegates.  Earlier, the Governor had appointed Bob Ashley (R-Roane) to the 3rd District State Senate vacancy created by the resignation of David Nohe, who accepted an appointment to the West Virginia Parole Board.   Atkinson, a West Virginia University graduate, retired from BPB-Stella Jones in 2013 and currently serves as director of sales for Mountain State Log Homes. He is an active volunteer with the 4-H Club in Roane County and has helped replace the cabins at Camp Sheppard. Atkinson is a member of First Baptist Church in Spencer.  He and his wife, Jeanette, live in Reedy.

Severance Collections Continue to Fall as State Budget Woes Deepen

The fallout from the Obama Administration's eight year War on Coal continues to play havoc with the state's budget as the monthly coal severance collections took another tumble in October. According to the latest information from the state Department of Tax and Revenue, October revenues were $23.8 million below estimates, with fiscal -year-to-date collections $91.6 million below projections. 

Read more: Severance Collections Continue to Fall as State Budget Woes Deepen

West Virginia Leads Coalition of States in EPA's New Source Rule Challenge

West Virginia’s attorney general is once again leading a coalition of states against the U.S. EPA’s carbon agenda — this time against the Clean Power Plan’s new power plant component, the New Source Performance Standards.

 Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on Nov. 3 released an unofficial version of his petition for review of the EPA’s new source rule, which will be submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. While he provided few details of his challenge, Morrisey pledged to show that the rule exceeds the EPA’s statutory authority and is otherwise arbitrary and capricious. Those seeking to challenge an agency action must indicate their intent to do so within 60 days of a rule’s publication in the Federal Register, although they do not have to lay out their arguments in that filing.

Read more: West Virginia Leads Coalition of States in EPA's New Source Rule Challenge

New Analysis Underscores Power Plan's Costly Consequences

“Energy policy needs to ensure all Americans have affordable and reliable electricity to meet everyday challenges and to help build a strong foundation of economic success. Regardless of where you stand politically, this plan fails to meet that threshold.”

Washington, D.C. – New analysis from NERA Economic Consulting shows the Environmental Protection Agency’s power plan comes with a hefty price tag that could approach $300 billion and raise electricity prices in each of the 47 states subject to the new regulation.  Despite these enormous costs, the rule does nothing to prevent global climate change.

Read more: New Analysis Underscores Power Plan's Costly Consequences