Press Archive

The West Virginia Coal Forum is planning a number of educational and informational events beginning this June to discuss the impact of regulatory measures on coal mining as well as strategies for confronting the most significant issues.

“West Virginia Coal – 2015 and Beyond” will include representatives from the regulatory sector as well as industry officials and energy experts sharing expertise on a number of topics crucial to today’s coal industry, including the impact of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan.

By Chris Hamilton

Albert Einstein once defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” and for the past 83 years, the West Virginia Legislature and the United Mine Workers have done just that. Now, after our Central Appalachian coal production has declined by more than 43 percent, numerous coal mines have closed, and thousands of jobs have been lost, Cecil Roberts is advocating for the West Virginia Legislature to just keep doing the same thing. This is not just recklessness on part of Roberts and the United Mine Workers, it is insanity.

Our Legislative leaders appear intent to do everything within their power to provide the coal industry with help and optimism so it may survive the next couple years of President Obama’s assault on Central Appalachian Coal Operations. Yes, we also have worsening geology and lots of lower-cost gas, but rest assured, as everyone knows who is remotely close to the coal industry, its misfortunes today principally have been brought about by our president’s attacks (which the UMW repeatedly have embraced).

Charleston, WV, February 5, 2015 - Mine safety is a central focus of West Virginia’s coal industry. At Thursday’s session of the 42nd Annual West Virginia Mining Symposium in Charleston, 54 mining and service companies were recognized for their commitment to exemplary safety performance in 2014.

Topping the list of award winners was Catenary Coal Company’s Samples Mine, of Kanawha County, which took home the Barton B. Lay Milestones of Safety Award.

“Our member companies strive each day to provide their employees with the safest possible workplace,” said Chris Hamilton, senior vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association.  “They have set a standard with their focus on reducing workplace injuries and getting everyone home at the end of their shifts. We applaud their hard work and dedication to this, our most important responsibility.”

Africa faces a dilemma: It's vulnerable to climate change but needs coal to grow robustly. So which way are Africans going?

Africa is the kind of place that makes power companies rub their hands with glee. Economies there have grown steadily, an average 6 percent per year, even though nearly half of the continent’s 1.2 billion people have no electricity. Just think what a little power would do for growth – and the business opportunities for providing that power!

CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Coal Association was invited to Thursday’s meeting of the Kanawha County Commission to discuss the impact of the recent layoff announcements that could potentially impact as many as 1400 coal miners – many of them from Kanawha and surrounding counties.

WVCA Senior Vice President Chris Hamilton and Vice President Jason Bostic met with the Commission, providing up-to-date information regarding the layoffs. Hamilton spoke about the issue at the regular Commission Meeting Thursday evening in Charleston.

CHARLESTON – WVCA Senior Vice President Chris Hamilton was a guest on Thursday’s “After the Bell” show on Fox Business News.  Interviewed by phone, Hamilton spoke about the recent increase in coal imports from Russia, Columbia and other countries – imports that are displacing Appalachian coal in markets traditionally served by West Virginia, Kentucky and other eastern coal producing states.

Host David Asman said it was unbelievable that American coal miners were being laid off while coal was increasingly shipped from other countries due in large part to the costs associated with compliance with new federal regulations imposed by the Obama Administration. 

If you want to see the segment in its entirety, it is available at: