The WVCA Board of Directors has approved the membership of producing member INR Energy with Stephen D. “Doug” Williams as their COO and representative.
New Associate Members are: A C Power Tech, Inc., Alex Cerreti, President; AirFlow Catalyst Systems, Inc., John Belgiorno, Sales Manager for North America; Compass Coal Services, LLC, William E. Massey, President; and, Pennington Seed, Inc.-Virginia Division, Dan Cosgrove, Professional Turf Sales.  Welcome to all and we look forward to meeting you at the Symposium.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that corporations may spend as freely as they like to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on business efforts to influence federal campaigns. By a 5-4 vote, the court overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said companies can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to produce and run their own campaign ads. 
The decision leaves in place a prohibition on direct contributions to candidates from corporations and unions. It does, however, remove limits on independent expenditures that are not coordinated with candidates' campaigns.
The case does not affect political action committees (PAC).  Corporations, unions and others may create PACs to contribute directly to candidates, but they must be funded with voluntary contributions from employees, members and other individuals, not by corporate or union treasuries.
Three Republican challengers have filed for nomination to the 1st District Congressional seat currently held by Alan Mollohan.  They include David McKinley, former House of Delegates member from Wheeling, Sarah Minear, former State Senator from Morgantown and Tucker County and newcomer, Mack Warner from Morgantown.  The three Republicans will vie for their party’s nomination in the May Primary Election.  Although no one else has filed, there is one well-known Democrat from the district considering a possible run for the seat.  The registration period ends on Saturday, January 30th.
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.

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.

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