Mining Symposium Recognizes Companies for Excellence in Safety and Reclamation

CHARLESTON, W.Va. ─ The West Virginia Coal Association convened its 48th annual West Virginia Mining Symposium this week and celebrated the safety and reclamation achievements of mining industry operations across the state.

“West Virginia’s coal industry continues to show its resilience and commitment to excellence across the board,” WVCA President Chris Hamilton said. “It’s always a proud day for us when we can recognize those who excel in safety and reclamation, showing that the best and brightest in the industry are right here in West Virginia.”

The Symposium took place January 12 at the newly renovated Embassy Suites and Conference Center in Charleston, W.Va.

Pandemic’s Impact on 2020 Coal Production Significant

The COVID-19 Pandemic negatively impacted West Virginia coal production, driving state production levels to their lowest since 1911. The economic disruption caused by the pandemic affected every segment of the domestic and international energy market.

Compared to 2019, Thermal coal shipments from West Virginia to domestic utility companies fell by -30% (-14.3m tons) as national electric generation levels declined by almost 3%. In the primary markets for West Virginia thermal coal, generation declined by over -4%, and output from the Mid-Atlantic and Central Industrial regions fell by -4 .5% from 2019 levels.

Despite Challenges, Coal Stakeholders Share Optimistic Industry Outlook During WV Mining Symposium

Presenters at the 48th Annual West Virginia Mining Symposium, held on Tuesday, Jan. 12, acknowledged the challenges facing the industry while also expressing optimism for what the future holds. 

Chris Hamilton, President and Chief Executive Officer of the West Virginia Coal Association, opened the event highlighting the great story the industry has to tell.  “Our industry is responsible for producing some of the most vital of societal needs: low-cost electricity, and steel, the building block of our nation. 

West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccination of Mining Personnel

The West Virginia Coal Association was advised by the Governor’s office to prepare for the COVID-19 vaccination of mining personnel who are fifty (50) years of age or older, to commence after the first of January 2021.

Furthermore, the Association was asked to assist this effort by identifying the number of mining personnel around the state that fall into the 50+ age category.

Please contact Jason, Christine, or Chris to report the number of mining personnel age fifty or older along with a date of birth and email address for every person that is reported.

Although, the plans for administering this phase of the vaccine are still being worked out, it is likely the vaccine will be administered “centrally within a geographical radius”.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Chris at (304) 549-8231.

Open Letter to Friends of Coal Everywhere

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.