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The EPA has declared a war on Appalachian Coal. The agency’s apparent intent to rescind the already issued Spruce Mine permit is the first time the agency has ever taken such an action and shows a reckless disregard for the impact on our people, on future investment in our region and even for basic fairness.

This action threatens the very future of mining in our state and region… not just mountaintop mining operations or even surface mining … but all forms of mining and with it the futures of the 50,000 West Virginia and 80,000 Appalachian families whose livelihoods depend on coal. We call upon our Congressional representatives, our local and state elected officials and everyone concerned about the future of our state and our region to let the EPA and the Obama Administration know this effort to destroy the Eastern coal industry must come to a stop.

MELVILLE — Roger Ramey smiled as he stood on the landing strip at the Logan County Airport yesterday and watched the Hercules C-130 aircraft land.

Ramey, who retired after 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and is the senior board member on the Logan County Airport Authority, said watching the airplane land was a "dream come true."

"This is a lifelong dream," Ramey said. "When I was in the Air Force and stationed overseas in the 1970s, I heard through my parents that they were planning to build an airport here. I thought I'd spent enough time in the Air Force that I could come back to Logan and get a job at the airport. It didn't progress as big and as fast as I'd have liked and I spent 20 years in the Air Force and when I got out, we came back to Logan and I got a job with the railroad.

LAURITA AND HOWARD NAMED TO WEST VIRGINIA COAL HALL OF FAME
Nicewonder joins to accept his 2009 award at annual meeting in Glade Springs
 
The West Virginia Coal Association and the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute are proud to name Thomas W. Howard and James Lewis Laurita (Jim, Sr.) as the 2010 inductees to the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame. Laurita and Howard were joined in accepting the award by Don Nicewonder, who received his 2009 induction. Nicewonder had been unable to attend this past year.
 
“This is the highest honor our industry can bestow,” said Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association. “This award is given to people who devote a lifetime of service to our industry and our state.  I am so proud to be able to say I know these three gentlemen and count them as friends. They are gentlemen in every sense of the word. They embody the very best of our industry. Their lives of hard work, commitment to excellence and commitment to the state and its people truly light the way for the rest of us to follow.”  

Source: Wheeling Intelligencer

http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/537503.html?nav=515\

WHEELING - If you ask Chris Hamilton, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is unfairly targeting West Virginia's coal industry by holding up several state mining permits. As Hamilton, vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association, believes coal mining is under attack, Ohio County Commissioner Randy Wharton also wants to make sure EPA officials are held accountable for their actions.

Hamilton and Wharton joined Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie, Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce President Terry Sterling, Marshall County Chamber of Commerce President Dave Knuth and others for a news conference expressing support for the coal industry in Wheeling this morning.

Hamilton said the Obama Administration's EPA, led by administrator Lisa Jackson, seems to have a bias against Mountain State coal. This year, Hamilton said, West Virginia will produce the second highest amount of coal for any state, with about 160 million tons. This amount pales in comparison to the 400 million tons set for production in Wyoming.

The Board of Coal Mine Health & Safety released four (4) sets of administrative rules earlier this week for public comment.  The rules address fire protection on underground conveyor belts, updated requirements for mine rescue teams and team member training, requirements for a recording “barometer” to be located at all underground coal mines, and more frequent calibration requirements for machine mounted methane gas monitors.
           
The proposed rules affecting “conveyor belts” and “mine rescue teams” have been developing before the Board for the past two years.  Both rulemaking actions are intended to comport the state requirements to corresponding, newly finalized federal standards on these two topics.  The proposed standards for mine rescue teams were recommended to the Board for promulgation in April, 2008 by the Mine Safety Technology Task Force.

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