WV Coal Association Decries U.S. Interior’s Latest Rule

CHARLESTON, W.Va. ─ The West Virginia Coal Association is condemning a final attempt by the Obama Administration to end coal mining in the United States.

Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior released final revisions to federal mining regulations- the latest in a long list of executive actions intended to stop American coal mining.

“This so-called ‘Stream Protection Rule’ is actually a coal-industry-killer rule,” said Bill Raney, president of the Coal Association, which represents the majority of coal companies operating in West Virginia. “Our coal companies and their miners and families do not deserve this final salvo in President Obama’s War on Coal. To call this an unwelcome Christmas present is a big understatement.”

As the industry has watched the development of this rule ─ a process that has been fraught with internal corruption over the last several years ─ it became clear the federal government was using the SPR process to sterilize wide tracts of underground mining reserves in addition to stopping surface mining.

“The Obama Administration has manipulated the federal rulemaking process to satisfy its anti-coal agenda by targeting all forms of coal production from surface to underground and across all coal producing regions of the country,” said Jason Bostic, vice president of the Coal Association. “We all want to protect America’s natural resources, but the SPR will not offer any environmental improvements as Interior claims. This rule is a giant lie that was financed by taxpayer dollars.”

“We are hopeful that Congress and the incoming Trump Administration to take swift action to overturn this irresponsible regulation as quickly as possible and we look forward to working with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey should legal action by the states be necessary to prevent this job-killing regulation from taking effect,” Raney said.

The West Virginia Coal Association represents more than 90 percent of the state's underground and surface coal mine production. Its purpose is to have a unified voice representing the state's coal industry as well as increase emphasis on coal as a reliable energy source to help the nation achieve energy independence.