Bissett Named President of KCA

Kentucky Coal Association (KCA) Chairman Charlie Wesley announced that the board of directors of the KCA has elected Bill Bissett to serve as the President of the KCA.  Bissett is currently employed as the Chief of Staff / Senior Vice President for Communications of Marshall University, located in Huntington, West Virginia.

“I would like to thank the KCA board of directors for the opportunity to represent Kentucky coal and to communicate the message of its vital importance to this state and nation,” Bissett said. “I am excited and energized at this great opportunity to play a role in advancing Kentucky coal, the low cost electricity generation that it provides, and the critical manufacturing and other related job opportunities across the State that are dependent upon the success of Kentucky coal.”

Bissett has had experience in numerous aspects of mass media, public relations and marketing. Prior to working for Marshall University, Bissett was Vice President of Public Relations at Charles Ryan Associates (CRA), an integrated marketing agency located in Charleston, West Virginia, where he led the Friends of Coal campaign for the agency. Prior to working at CRA, Bissett was responsible for the communications of the West Virginia Department of Transportation and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree and Master of Arts in Journalism from Marshall University, and is anticipated to complete his doctorate in Higher Education Leadership in 2012.

“On behalf of our 23 member companies and 100 associate member companies, it is my pleasure to welcome Bill Bissett to this important leadership position,” Wesley said. “Bill possesses a strong background in communication and management, and he played a significant leadership role in the implementation of the Friends of Coal outreach program.  Bill brings a passion for the coal industry to this position, and I am confident that his passion will be contagious. While the current membership of The Kentucky Coal Association represents more than 75% of Kentucky’s annual coal production, the Association’s message and efforts benefit every coal producer and end-user in the Commonwealth.   Under Bill’s leadership, the Association will become an even stronger unified voice of Kentucky coal’s message.”

Lieberman Prints

Most of you are quite familiar with, and have even supported, the work of Thorney Lieberman, the Charleston photographic artist who developed a unique portrait series honoring coal miners.  For those of you who may not be familiar with Thorney’s work, I urge you to view it at  One of his portraits is featured on the cover of WVCA’s 2009 Coal Facts, and we featured one of his portraits on the back of ICG’s 2008 Annual Report.  The portraits are a series of life-sized photographs of actual coal miners and are visually stunning.

In any event, in recognition of the fact that most people do not have the appropriate space to hang a life-sized miner in their home or office, Thorney has developed a print format that captures the essence of his project on a smaller scale that is both appropriate for the home or office and quite affordable.  (I have one on display in my home.)  Thorney can produce his unique photographic pieces for you on an approximately 14 ½ “ W by 23” H metal background (like the life-size gallery exhibits).  These smaller pieces can be purchased from Thorney for $450 each (sales tax not included).  (As a side, Thorney also pays a portion of the sale price of his work to the particular subject of the print.)

If you wish to purchase one, please contact Thorney directly (I have copied his email link above) or through his website.

Parton CD Available

At a time when the coal industry is being attacked on all fronts, all types of public relations are available to win the hearts of the public and our political representatives.  Towards that end, award-winning recording artist and songwriter Stella Parton has produced an exclusive CD of coal mining songs which she calls American Coal.

Contact Raptor Records at: or visit
Individual copies may be purchased for $15 plus postage and handling.

Letter to the Editor: February 8, 2010

Letters to the Editor: February 8, 2010

By Submission

| Published: Sunday, February 7, 2010
Updated: Sunday, February 7, 2010
Attack the coal industry but not its people
On my way to class Feb. 3, I picked up The Daily Athenaeum.
Normally, I enjoy reading everything it has to offer even if I do not agree with all of the opinions voiced.
Not even halfway through Shields’ article, “The State of West Virginia tied to the coal industry for too long,” I knew I could not let him get away with all of his slander.
I am all for voicing your opinion, but when your opinions stoop as low as Shields’, calling those who run the coal industry “a miserable racket of thugs,” this becomes unacceptable.
I highly doubt that Shields’ has met every leader in the coal industry to reinforce his opinion.
As the daughter of a coal “thug,” I hope that the DA will refrain from publishing these insults. Talk about the downside of coal all you want, that argument will never be resolved.
Attacking the people of the coal industry is completely uncalled for and beyond offensive.
Opinions should be voiced in order to better our society and provoke thought, not to hurt, offend and defame others, especially if the author has no legitimate facts to support this opinion.
Michelle Raney
Exercise physiology major

Methane Improves Coal Conversion - Exxon

ScienceDirect - Fuel : Reaction of methane with coal 
In an earlier dispatch detailing the US Gas Research Institute's US Patent 4609440, wherein Carbon Dioxide is converted into Methane, we indicated that, among other valuable potentials, Methane can be employed in indirect coal conversion processes, by addition to the synthesis gas generated from Coal, to enhance the quality of the syngas prior to catalysis, and thereby improve the quality and quantity of the liquid fuels produced.
It can, in fact, supply the additional Hydrogen needed to effect the conversion of highly-carbonaceous raw materials, such as Coal, into hydrocarbon liquids.
Herein, we document that Exxon, at work with Australian collaborators, knows it.
Following are excerpts from:
"Reaction of Methane with Coal
Kezhan Yang, Barry D. Batts; Macquarie University, Macquarie, NSW 2109, Australia
Martin L. Gorbaty, Peter S. Maa; Exxon Research and Engineering Company, Annandale, NJ, USA
Mervyn A. Long; University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia;
Abstract: The reactivities of Australian coals and one American coal with methane or methane-hydrogen mixtures, in the range 350–400°C and a range of pressures (6.0–8.3 MPa, cold) have been examined. The effects of aluminophosphates (AlPO) or zeolite catalysts, with and without exchanged metals, on reactivity have also been examined. Yields of dichloromethane extractable material are increased by using a methane rather than a nitrogen atmosphere and different catalysts assist dissolution to various extents. It appears that surface exchanged catalysts are effective, but incorporating metals during AlPO lattice formation is detrimental. Aluminium phosphate catalysts are unstable to water produced during coal conversion, but are still able to increase extraction yields. For the American coal, under methane-hydrogen and a copper exchanged zeolite, 51.5% conversion was obtained, with a product selectivity close to that obtained under hydrogen alone, and with only 2% hydrogen consumption. The conversion under methane-hydrogen was close to that obtained under hydrogen alone, while a linear dependence of conversion on proportion of methane would predict a 43% conversion under methane-hydrogen. This illustrates a synergistic effect of the methane-hydrogen atmosphere for coal liquefaction using this catalyst system."
In their experiments, it does appear that they still used some, more expensive, elemental Hydrogen, as can be obtained, for instance, via water electrolysis. But, Methane can replace some, or most, if we understand "with only 2% hydrogen consumption" correctly,  of the elemental Hydrogen which might otherwise be required to maximize liquid hydrocarbon productivity from coal-derived synthesis gas.
And, yet again, as we have thoroughly documented: Methane can be synthesized via the Sabatier recycling of Carbon Dioxide; and, the steam, or hydro, gasification of Coal.