State and national leaders, energy experts and others to address group, February 18-20

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – State and national leaders, including Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, (R-WV), will join with energy experts and regulatory officials to address representatives of the state’s coal industry during the 36th annual West Virginia Coal Association Mining Symposium. The 2009 Symposium will be held Wednesday, February 18 – Friday, February 20 at the Charleston Civic Center. The event was moved to the Civic Center this year in response to rapidly growing interest in the event.

The Symposium provides industry officials, government leaders and regulatory officials a chance to come together and discuss current energy and  economic trends, mine safety, health and environmental issues. In addition to the information sessions, industry members are recognized for their safety and environmental efforts.

According to Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, “The coal industry is vital to the future of our state and our nation.  We are an essential part of nation’s energy mix going forward and we account for almost a quarter of the state’s economy.”
Raney said there are critical policy and regulatory issues facing the industry that must be addressed to better position the industry for the future.

Wednesday’s session will feature health and safety and environmental workshops. Sen. Rockefeller will give the keynote address at lunch. Thursday’s session will feature Gov. Manchin for a discussion of the State of the State.  On Friday, Rep. Capito will provide a discussion of the outlook for the incoming Congress.

More than 20 state and national officials will join Gov. Manchin, Sen. Rockefeller and Rep. Capito as presenters during the three-day event. Other speakers and events include:

Ken Nemeth, executive director of the Southern States Energy Board discussing energy security issues;
Hal Quinn of the National Mining Association discussing the outlook for coal in Washington.
Steve Miller of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) will discuss ways to better take the case for coal to the American people.
Dr. Charles Bayless will provide an overview of the nation’s economy without coal.
An open forum looking at the electric utilities and coal with Nick Akins, executive vice president of AEP, James Martin, senior vice president of Dominion Energy and Paul Newton, senior vice president of Duke Power serving as panelists.
Rick Remish and Tom Heywood of Imagine West Virginia, looking at coal, energy and the environment of the state.
Randy Huffman, secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and Tom Clarke, director of Mining and Reclamation, discussing the state’s mining and reclamation program.
Art Kirkendoll, Logan County Commissioner and Roger Horton, founder and director of Citizens for Coal, will provide a local perspective on the issue of mountaintop mining.

In addition, companies will be recognized for their environmental and safety efforts at the Mountaineer Guardian Awards luncheon on Thursday and the Environmental Restoration Awards luncheon on Friday.

For a list of presenters and/or an agenda, visit www.wvcoal.com. Wednesday’s session will feature proprietary information and will be closed to the public. Media are encouraged to attend the Thursday and Friday sessions. For additional information, contact Bill Raney, Chris Hamilton or T.L. Headley.

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