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CHARLESTON – The Obama Administration today formally published the EPA’s final regulations governing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The regulation will endanger hundreds of power plants around the nation, raise the electric bills to the point of creating energy poverty for millions of Americans and endanger the electric grid.

“Today’s announcement by the Obama Administration of its adoption of the EPA’s ‘Costly Power Plan’ is yet another effort by this administration to hide its radical policies behind a façade of compromise,” said Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association. “This latest iteration of the EPA’s regulatory assault against coal-fired power generation is being presented as addressing the concerns of industry, but nothing could be further from the truth.  Yes, the final regulation tacks on a couple of years to the compliance timeline, but all this accomplishes is perpetuate uncertainty and provide more time for the rule to do more damage – irreversible damage – to the nation’s energy industry and electric grid.

The coal industry has a long history of surviving dramatic cycles of good times and bad, but most people familiar with the coal industry recognize the current slump as being one of the most challenging in the history of the West Virginia coalfields.

This was the primary topic of a meeting of the West Virginia Coal Forum held Thursday in Bluefield. The West Virginia Coal Forum is a quasi-governmental agency that the state Legislature established in 1986. It represents the interests of both labor and management relating to the state’s leading industry.

More than 80 coal miners packed a state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) public hearing in support of changes to two West Virginia water quality standards. The crowd of miners, wearing their work clothes with reflective stripes, greatly outnumbered a handful of environmental group representatives.

DEP’s Division of Water and Waste Management has proposed changes to the way West Virginia calculates its standards for aluminum and selenium.  The proposed new rule would effectively bring the state’s standards into compliance with the rest of the nation.  

U.S. Coal Production Up Again Week Over Week 

Coal Commodity Region/Fuel

Avg. BTU

SO2

Price

Price/mmBU

Central Appalachia

12,500

1.2

$54.0

$2.20

Northern Appalachia

13,000

3

$53.0

$2.05

Illinois Basin

11,800

5

$43.35

$1.46

Powder River Basin

8,800

0.8

$11.55

$0.66

Uinta Basin

11,700

0.8

$39.35

$1.68

Natural Gas (Henry Hub)

n/a

0.01

n/a

$2.75


Coal production in the U.S. rose sharply for the week ending July 18, compared to the previous week – continuing the positive trend of the past few weeks.  However production continues to fall short of last year according to the latest report from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) for the week.

The 2015 edition of Coal Facts, the West Virginia Coal Association’s annual statistical report, is now in production and will be ready for distribution within the next two weeks. The publication will feature updates on the status of the coal industry in the state, production, employment and distribution data, a review of state coal severance tax collections and distributions as well as county-by-county data.


West Virginia Coal Association - PO Box 3923 - Charleston, WV 25339 | 304-342-4153 | website developed by brickswithoutstraw