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Legislative leaders from both parties expressed strong support for the West Virginia coal industry at a Legislative Conference in Charleston last week.  Senate Majority Leader Truman Chafin (Mingo) said “the Obama administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are taking a “harsh stand” against coal.  They have a whole new attitude about the coal industry.”  House Majority Leader Brent Boggs (Braxton) pointed out the significance of the industry by saying “We absolutely have to have that revenue.  If we don't have that revenue, we'll be in a world of hurt in West Virginia. This is not a partisan issue. It's a West Virginia issue." Senate Minority Whip Clark Barnes (Randolph), said the state must continue to invest in clean-coal technologies. "That's good for our coal industry and exports right now. We're exporting a tremendous amount of coal right now." and House Minority Leader Tim Armstead (Kanawha) suggested the Legislature establish a select committee to react to federal legislation that affects the coal and energy industry in West Virginia.   He said further, "We need to be prepared to address those impacts on the state level.  We are all concerned about the future of coal."  The leaders also expressed concern over the pending “cap & trade” legislation pending in Congress.

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