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


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 17th Annual West Virginia Coal Festival begins in Madison, WV on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 6 p.m. and will end at approximately 11 p.m. on June 19th.  Patriot Coal Corp. will be sponsoring the Mining Equipment Display which will be available during these times.
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.
According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report for week ending April 17th, U.S. metallurgical exports for February 2010 are nearly 80% ahead of the same month last year, 4.094 million tons compared to 2.276 million tons in February 2009.  The metallurgical export totals for the first two months show more than a 70% increase.  For the same period, steam coal exports were down more than 33% and 2010 imports were more than 30% behind 2009.  The 2010 year-to-date production for West Virginia was approximately 7.5% behind last year, 42.1 million tons vs. 45.6 million.

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