Industry Pioneer Passes

On December 11th of last year, Fil Nutter, a pioneer of our industry as one of the original Board members of the West Virginia Surface Mining & Reclamation Association and a founder of Hobet Mining, as well as several other companies, died after an extended illness. In accordance with Fil's wishes, his widow, Cathy, has planned a celebration of his life on January 30th at Edgewood Country Club at 11:00 a.m. Cathy wanted to be certain that all those who knew and worked with Fil were notified of the event and encouraged to attend and remember Fil in the way he wanted.

Legislative Leaders Express Support for Coal

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.

Legislature in Second Week - Governor Makes 6th State of the State

The Legislature opened on the 13th and, as of Friday, there were more than 1,200 bills before the body.  These are a combination of bills that carried over from last year’s Session that did not pass (House only), as well as new bills introduced this year.  A report is being prepared that will include brief descriptions of bills relevant to the industry and their committee references. 
In his 2010 State-of-the-State Address, Governor Manchin referenced the challenges currently confronting coal mining in West Virginia and encouraged those in Washington to allow our people to work.  Excerpts of his speech are shown below: 
…“As we grow into new technologies and business sectors, we must still support the traditional industries that have helped build our state and make this nation great.
West Virginia will play an increasingly important role in our nation’s energy future.

37th Annual Mining Symposium

Below is the tentative agenda for the two days of the 37th Annual Mining Symposium.  The agendas for the Health & Safety and Environmental Sessions will be finalized by the first of next week and will be e-mailed.
11:30 a.m. Lunch sponsored by Jackson Kelly
1 p.m.       Health & Safety Session
1 p.m.       Environmental Session
        (agendas for each will follow the first of week)
5 p.m.       Associate’s Welcoming Reception
7:00 a.m.   REGISTRATION
7:30 a.m.   Breakfast sponsored by Dinsmore & Shohl and
Logan Corporation
8:30 a.m.   Welcome & Introductions
                James O. Bunn
                WVCA Chairman
8:45 a.m.   Central Appalachian Challenges
                Joe Craft, President/CEO
                Alliance Coal Company
9:30 a.m.   U. S. Coal Forecast 2010
                Hal Quinn, President
                National Mining Association
10:15 a.m. Break sponsored by Steptoe & Johnson
10:30 a.m. The State of the State
                Governor Joe Manchin
                State of West Virginia
11:15 a.m. American Energy Securities Study
                Kenneth Nemeth, Executive Director
                Southern States Energy Board
12 noon     Mountaineer Guardian Luncheon
                Sponsored by Bowles Rice and
Marshall Miller Associates
                Awards Presentation by WV Office of Miners’
Health, Safety & Training
2 p.m.       MSHA 2010
                Joe Main, Assistant Secretary
                U. S. Mine Safety & Health Administration
2:40 p.m.   West Virginia’s Coal Economy
                Tom Witt, WVU / Cal Kent, Marshall University
3:30 p.m.   Break sponsored by Steptoe & Johnson
3:45 p.m.   Coal Advocacy
                        -- Friends of Coal Ladies Auxiliary
                        -- FACES
                        -- Mountain Top Mining Coalition
5 p.m.       Legislative Reception
7 a.m.       Registration
7:30 a.m.   Breakfast sponsored by Brickstreet and
Wells Fargo Insurance – Energy & Mining Group
8 a.m.       Welcome
8:15 a.m.   Congressional Activity Relating to Coal
                Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito
9 a. m.      OSM 2010
                Joseph Pizarchik, Director
                U. S. Office of Surface Mining
9:45 a.m.   Renewable Energy –
The Gap Between the Idea and Reality
                Dr. Charles Bayless
10:30 a.m. Break sponsored by Steptoe & Johnson
10:45 a.m. Environmental Litigation Update
                Bob McLusky
                Jackson Kelly, PLLC
11:30 a.m. West Virginia’s Mining & Reclamation Program
                Randy Huffman, Cabinet Secretary
                Tom Clarke, Director, Division of Mining & Reclamation
                WV Department of Environmental Protection
12:15 p.m. Reclamation Awards Luncheon
                Sponsored by Spilman Thomas & Battle and Potesta & Associates
                Awards Presentation:  Randy Huffman, Cabinet Secretary
                WV Department of Environmental Protection

Web Sites Progress

The West Virginia Coal Association website was met with over 4500 visits for the month of December.  The total page views for the month exceeded 11,000 with new content constantly being added.  The site saw 73 percent of those visits from new visitors with over 70 percent of all visitors coming from search engines. Lastly, the site saw visits from over 70 different countries and territories.
The Friends of Coal website continues to attract and interest and new visitors from all over the world.  In fact, we saw traffic from 50 different countries and territories while in total the site saw over 2,000 visitors last month.  In total, over 7,000 page views and over 77 percent were first time visitors.