As a scientist and a native of the Appalachian coal fields, I feel compelled to respond to the article "A push for greater pollution controls at proposed plant," April 5, by representatives of the National Parks Conservation Association concerning the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center being planned for Wise County, Va.

I have testified twice at hearings before the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality in support of this facility. I would not be supportive of this project if I were not personally convinced that the combustion technology selected, combined with additional emission-control equipment will result in exceptionally clean environmental performance.
To begin the annual Association tradition of presenting Friends of Coal plaques to all students who are part of every state championship and runner-up team in the State, Pritchard Mining's Rocky Hackworth will be present for the high school tennis tournament this weekend in Charleston.  Rocky will be accompanied by his wife, Janie, of Walker Machinery as they follow the play of their daughter, Alyssa, who plays for George Washington High School's tennis team. The State Championship matches began on Thursday and will finish up on Saturday.
he West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame inducted Charlie Jones, President of Amherst Industries, and Royce Watts, Associate Dean of WVU's College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, at a well attended banquet last Friday night in Charleston.  The Hall of Fame recognizes leaders in our industry who have been instrumental in guiding its future.  The Hall is a joint project of the Association and the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute and is permanently housed in Morgantown at WVU's College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. This was the eleventh class to be inducted. Congratulations to Charlie and Royce.
With the Primary Election coming up on Tuesday,  the crew from American's for Balanced Energy (ABEC) and the American's Power Grassroots Support Team ( are in West Virginia following Presidential candidates Obama and Clinton.
Governor Manchin appointed Randy Huffman as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) effective May 1, 2008.  He replaces the longest serving DEP Secretary Stephanie Timmermeyer who resigned in early April to pursue private interests with the intent of having more time to spend with her family.  Randy Huffman has been serving as the Deputy Secretary of DEP as well as the Director for the Division of Mining and Reclamation.  He immediately made two appointments to fill the positions he had held.
Earlier this week the Association filed a request in with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond seeking an expedited oral argument in the appeal of the March and June 2007 decisions from Judge Chambers regarding section 404 permitting.  The oral argument of the case was originally scheduled to be heard on May 13, but the Appeals Court subsequently issued an Order delaying the hearing until September.  The motion and request field by the Association and the intervening coal companies was unopposed by the other parties.  For a copy of the filing contact
West Virginia’s official Primary Election will be held next Tuesday, May 13th.  There are a number of “extremely important” races throughout the State, but perhaps the most important one is the race for two seats on the State Supreme Court.  Chief Justice “Spike” Maynard is running for re-election on the Democratic side, against three challengers, while Beth Walker is running on the Republican ballot.  Remember, this is the first year that Independents can vote in either the Democratic or Republican Primary, but you must specifically ask for one of the two Parties’ ballots when you arrive at the precinct.
Membership Chairman Jim Bunn expressed his appreciation and excitement about the following companies that were approved for membership at last week’s Board of Directors’ meeting.  The new members and their representatives (shown in parentheses) include:
New West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Randy Huffman is the first one to admit he doesn't have all the answers, but he says he'll work to get them.

Huffman took over as the cabinet secretary for the large agency last week. He replaces Stephanie Timmermyer who decided to leave state government.

Huffman, who has filled many roles at DEP for 21-years, says he'll run the agency much like Timmermyer did during the Wise administration and the last four years under Governor Joe Manchin. Huffman says that will include making the tough decisions.
The West Virginia Coal Association and the Coal Mining Institute inducted two new members Friday into the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame. Charles Jones with Amhurst Industries and WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources Associate Dean Royce Watts were inducted into the 11th class.
The Hall of Fame was started back in 1998. It was created to honor the careers and accomplishments of individuals who have had a significant impact on the West Virginia mining industry.

Jones owns and operates 35 towboats and 10 floating cranes used up and down the Ohio River as well as Amhurst Coal.

Watts has been teaching at WVU for more than 50 years. But says the mines have always been a part of his life. "I was born in a coal company house. My father worked all his life in the mines. He died in a mine accident in Boone County in 1942,” he told MetroNews Friday.

Watts, who's helped coordinate the awards portion of the Hall of Fame since its inception, says all those inducted have one thing in common. "They all are people who have been vitally concerned for a large portion of their life with the West Virginia coal industry,” he said.

Watts says he is humbled to be among those honored.
Fola Coal Company Surface Mine 6 in Bickmore, WV, has been presented with the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative's Excellence in Forestry Award for 2007.
Charles T. Jones, chairman of Port Amherst and president of Amherst Industries and Royce J. Watts, longtime educator and secretary-treasurer of the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute, will be inducted into the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame during a ceremony tonight at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Charleston.

“The FOCLA is thrilled to announce that we now have a permanent location to call our headquarters!”
- Regina Fairchild, Chairwoman FOCLA
Thursday, May 1

144 Whitestick St. Mabscott, WV
Hylton Co. Bldg Upper Level
Parking Available on Upper Level
(Directions: from Byrd Drive or I77 take Mabscott Exit at the stop sign go to the red light (FOE 2377 is on right) turn LEFT at light onto WHITESTICK STREET, go approx 1/8 mile you will see Mabscott Supply on right next building is the Hylton Office following sign to the FOCLA Headquarters in the building.)
5:30pm - Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
6:30pm – Join us for a FOCLA Meeting

Guest Speakers:
Beth Walker (R) – Supreme Court Justice
Marty Gearhart (R)  – U. S. Congressman
Pat Reed (D) – Raleigh Co. Commissioner

Elliott “Spike” Maynard—Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court of Appeals is attempting to
The Auxiliary would like to take this opportunity to request your attendance to this special meeting; this will be an open meeting we encourage you to invite family and friends to attend.
Charles T. Jones, Chairman of Port Amherst, LTD and President of Amherst Industries, Inc. and Royce J. Watts, long time educator and Secretary-Treasurer of the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute will be inducted into the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Friday, May 2 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Charleston. 
Growing energy costs will force changes in the ways we live and do business in the United States.

A lifelong leader in the coal and transportation industries, Charles T. "Charlie" Jones believes Americans might have to give up their free-traveling lifestyle, where some people drive 50 miles each way to work every day and never think twice about making other daily excursions.

"Some people are spending $200 a week to go to work. Can they stand that over the long haul? No. People will have to move closer to their jobs.
by The Associated Press

Gov. Joe Manchin has appointed the deputy secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to head up the agency.

Manchin announced Randy Huffman's promotion on Friday.

Huffman replaces Stephanie Timmermeyer, who last month announced plans to resign after five years in the post.

Huffman is a West Virginia native. Besides being deputy secretary, he is also director of the Division of Mining Reclamation.

Manchin said Huffman's 21 years of experience with DEP made him an obvious choice for the position.

Timmermeyer, who had planned to resign July 1, has decided to leave the agency at the end of the month. Huffman takes over on May 1.

WHEN it comes to building the power plants that generate the electricity Americans need, the Not In My Back Yard crowd is now screaming Not in Anybody's Back Yard.

A coalition of anti-coal groups contends it has scored 65 victories over coal in the past three years, reported Judy Pasternak of the Los Angeles Times.
Coal-fired power plants provide half of this country's electricity. Half. Considering coal is by far our cheapest fossil fuel, imagine how expensive -- and unreliable -- electrical power would be if every coal-fired plant in the United States were shut down and use of the resource were banned.
Allegheny Energy has agreed to reroute part of the $1.3 billion power line proposed for northern West Virginia in a deal that eliminates major opposition from state Public Service Commission staff.

But the settlement, announced late Tuesday, does not include several citizen groups and many residents who are working against the project.

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