One thing that fascinates us is that, in the early 1940's, WV's US Senator Jennings Randolph flew from Morgantown to Washington, DC, in an airplane fueled with "liquid coal". We think the fuel was manufactured in WVU labs, but are continuing to look into it.
A year after that, he sponsored the first Synthetic Fuels act, and a couple of coal-to-oil plants were actually constructed, or at least started.
Like the Synfuel plant south of Moundsville (fairly recent story about it in the Wheeling papers), suspicions were that "Big Oil" killed 'em.
I think a retrospective on Ole Jennings' efforts might be an appropriate topic for the WV Coal News.
Some info on his efforts is available in online encyclopedia articles.