Who is Funding the Anti-Coal Movement?

by J.D. CHARLES, Staff Writer, and MICHAEL BROWNING, Managing Editor of the Logan Banner

Every time there is a mine disaster there is a lot of finger pointing. Much of this finger pointing has more to do with politics than it does concerns about the safety of coal miners.

One great example is the furor over strip mining. When people ask me about “surface mining” or “mountaintop removal” I tell them, I am pro-strip mining because it is SAFER for the coal miners than deep mining.

Statistics back me up on that.

The Friends of Coal Bowl: Building a Rivalry and a Brand


Coca-Cola, Las Vegas, the New York Yankees—these names alone are enough for the senses to kick into gear.

You can almost taste the Coke, see the lights of the city, smell the hot dogs and hear the crack of the bat. What’s more, you can visualize the symbols connected with the products—the familiar Coca-Cola logo, the casinos and the letters “NY” on the baseball caps. There is no mistaking them for something else because these are brands that have been built to make certain products, services or companies unique.

Another example of the importance of a good brand image is the Friends of Coal campaign. Since the campaign launched eight years ago, the Friends of Coal logo has become almost synonymous with the coal industry as it is seen across the country. A grassroots volunteer organization comprised of people from all walks of life who understand the importance of the coal industry to our state and its people, the organization’s goal is to educate the rest of the state and the nation about coal’s role in the economy, the culture and the heritage of the region.

TRG Motorsports features West Virginia Miners & Post-9/11 GI Bill:

TRG Motorsports today announced a partnership with The Upper Big Branch Family Fund to pay tribute to the 29 West Virginia miners who lost their lives in a mining incident on April 5th. This partnership will launch during this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The team will help raise awareness through the website, www.RememberTheMiners.org, to be featured as a part of the paint scheme of the TRG Motorsports #71 Chevrolet driven by NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte. The Upper Big Branch Family Fund was formed to give support, assistance and scholarships to the families of the fallen miners. The fund will help the miners' family members pay for college or take care of other expenses to keep the family stable, a fitting tribute to the men who died. The Fund was created by West Virginia University Head Basketball Coach Bob Huggins and Big Coal River native Jason Parsons.

See images of the car on on the #71 Team Schemes page.

Legislative Activities

·         The Legislature’s Monthly Interim Committee meetings were held Monday through Wednesday in Charleston.  Judiciary Subcommittee A met on Monday to review a lengthy list of possible topics to undertake between now and next January.  That list of topics included oil & gas issues, coal slurry and an update on the mine safety investigations and issues.
·         Delegate Roy Given (D-Ohio), chairman of the House Select Committee on Mine Permitting, announced that DEP Secretary Randy Huffman has been invited to meet with the Committee during next month’s Interim Committee meetings in Charleston.
·         Governor Manchin appointed Delegate John H. Shott of Bluefield to the 10th State Senate District seat that was held by Don Caruth, who died earlier this month following a lengthy bout with cancer.  Shott was sworn into the State Senate on Tuesday, May 25th.  The 10th Senatorial District includes Greenbrier, Monroe, Summers and parts of Fayette and Mercer counties.  Shott, a Bluefield attorney, was initially elected to House of Delegates (Mercer County) in 2008.  John will seek re-election to the remaining two years of the unexpired term of Senator Caruth this November.
·         Putnam County Senator Mike Hall has been selected by the Senate Republican Caucus to serve as the Senate Minority Leader, replacing the recently deceased Don Caruth.  Hall, a businessman and Marshall University graduate, was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1994 before being elected to the State Senate’s 4th District (Putnam, Mason and Jackson counties) in 2006.  He has served as the State Senate’s Minority Whip since 2009.
·         The second part of the Special Session will convene on Monday, June 7 in Charleston and the call is expected to be expanded to deal with some mine safety issues.

OSM Report on Compliance with AOC in West Virginia Released

On Thursday, a report was published by the federal Office of Surface Mining (OSM) regarding compliance with West Virginia’s Approximate Original Contour (AOC) policy.  This oversight initiative was started  in 2008 and has been the source of continued debate between OSM and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP).  As a result of these disagreements, the report was delayed by several months and was just released via web posting by OSM on Thursday.  It is available at http://www.arcc.osmre.gov/FOs/CHFO/Documents/WV%202008-09%20AOC%20Final%20Report.pdf