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By BILL ARCHER Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD —  Organizers of the West Virginia Coal Forum scheduled to start at 9 a.m., this morning at the Quality Hotel & Conference Center in Bluefield have finalized the schedule to today’s event.

Chris Hamilton and Fred Tucker, co-chairs of the West Virginia Coal Forum will join with Marc Meachum, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce to welcome those attending the event.

By BILL ARCHER Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Both the state senate president as well as the Speaker of the House of Delegates are confirmed as presenters for the Coal Forum scheduled for July 23, in Bluefield according to Chris Hamilton, vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association and co-chair of the Coal Forum.

By BILL ARCHER Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — The recent warm spell last week brought on a slight increase in electric output,  but the increase in thermal coal production remains down 12.2 percent from production levels in late June, 2014.

But while thermal coal production showed a slight increase compared to the previous week, the number of rail car loadings continued its downward slide — off 13.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

Charleston, W.Va. - The West Virginia Coal Forum is hailing Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision as a much-needed battle victory against the federal government’s war on coal.

The Coal Forum is an organization representing business and labor in West Virginia’s coal industry.

“Our nation’s highest court saw EPA's mercury rule for exactly what it was -- an economically disastrous power grab by a rogue agency and president that has been subverting Congress at every turn,” said Chris Hamilton, co-chairman of the Coal Forum. “Today, the legal system provided a much-needed check on the Executive Branch's regulatory overreach.”

Dear Gov. Tomblin,

We at the West Virginia Coal Forum are writing to request that you protect West Virginia from a state of economic peril that is virtually guaranteed by the mandates contained in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s so-called “Clean Power Plan.”

The West Virginia Coal Forum is an organization representing both labor and management in the coal industry.

As you are well aware, EPA's policies and programs have contributed to a near collapse of our coal industry over the last several years, and this deterioration has wreaked havoc on practically every aspect of our state. The Clean Power Plan rules will require West Virginia to sacrifice its economic and energy security even more. 

We are writing to urge your immediate attention to the closing of six in-state coal-fired power generators. As representatives of coal workers and coal employers, we respectfully encourage you to use the executive powers of your office to forestall these closures so we might consider all relevant household, economic and employment factors surrounding these industrial facilities. We ask that the short- and long-term net effect on nearby residents and the delivery of reliable and affordable household electricity also be examined.

We have been told that little can be done at this point or that “this train has left the station.” As such, decisions made unilaterally by parent utilities cannot be reversed; however, the decision forcing these facilities into premature shutdown results from unfavorable public policy driven by political agendas which hopefully will be revisited and reversed in the future.