As the clock strikes midnight on the year 2020, we are hopeful that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is near, and we pray for the safety and health of all Americans.
While the pandemic and market forces contributed to record low coal production in 2020, the industry has experienced modest recovery over the past three and a half years under the Trump Administration.
The Administration, to include leadership in the US Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, has worked to place the industry on stable regulatory footing, protect the industry’s electric generation market share, and engaged in research and development of new technologies to extend the viability of this vital resource. As an industry, we are thankful for these efforts.
But now we must come to grips with the fact that a new Administration – one committed to a “zero-carbon economy” and the “Green New Deal” – will soon take over. As the adage goes, “fore warning is fair warning”.
We have also experienced a weakening of support on the state level, as West Virginia’s two major power generators have announced plans to transition away from coal.
We are deeply concerned with what the future holds, and you should be as well.
As an industry that provides the energy America needs to exist and that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across this country, we must be prepared to stand up for coal.
The coal economy, to include companies, vendors, workers, and the communities we support, must band together and do everything imaginable to help preserve coal mining and coal-fired power generation jobs.
We have a great story to tell and nobody is more deserving of support from our government than our working miners and all those individuals who receive a paycheck from an operating coal mine or an electric generation facility.
Given the obvious rough waters ahead and challenges that will be coming out of Washington of proportions we have not seen, we must act now, today, to demonstrate the value and critical nature of our business to policy makers everywhere.
The fact is there are forces at work every hour of every day plotting the demise of our industry and your livelihood, and it begs your involvement and action now!
We are asking all coal economy stakeholders to begin contacting your local, county, state, and congressional representative to express concern over the potential loss of your job and what you believe is about to happen going forward.
We need to change the perception that anti-coal public policy actions only impact a relatively small population of our state and society.
We fully intend to reinvigorate “Friends of Coal” and unite members nationally to “Stand up for Coal”.
Act today. Stay connected. Speak out!
We welcome your thoughts and input to make our efforts successful.
President, WV Coal Association