Press Archive


CHARLESTON, W.Va. A new study on the economic impact of West Virginia’s coal industry shows that even when facing the worst regulatory pressures in history, mining still generated nearly $13 billion in economic activity for the Mountain State.

“Coal and coal-fired electric power always has been a major driver behind West Virginia’s economy, and this study proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that not only is coal the bedrock of our economy, it’s a key component of our future,” said Coal Forum Co-chairman Chris Hamilton. “The 2017 figures show that our industry is rebounding from the years of oppression during the previous administration.”

The study, “Economic Impact of Coal in West Virginia Economy,” was commissioned by the West Virginia Coal Forum and conducted by the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER). It shows that coal mining spends more than $1.1 billion on wages alone, and coal operators spent roughly $6.5 billion in 2017, far more than the entire general revenue of state government.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Coal Forum is applauding plans from President Donald Trump and Gov. Jim Justice to save West Virginia coal jobs by taking immediate steps to ensure the long-term operational viability of American coal-fired power plants.

“Without question, this is the best news in my 40-year career in the coal industry,” said Coal Forum Co-chairman Chris Hamilton. “It’s bigger than big. Never before in the history of mining has our state and federal political leadership been able to achieve the benefits to coal that are embodied in the Trump-Justice plan.”

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

CHANGE NOTICE:  Because of scheduling conflicts, travel arrangements and requirements for speakers to register before the hearing, the RALLY and PRESS CONFERENCE will be held at noon on the North side (Opposite the River) of the Capitol.  Therefore, instead of planning to be at the Capitol at 8:15 a.m., as previously announced, plan to enter the Capitol for the hearing and we will gather at NOON for the press conference and lunch.  

We look forward to seeing you all at the hearing and the press conference.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Coal Forum applauds U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan.

“We have been eagerly awaiting this news ever since President Trump promised us a few months ago that he would continue to change Washington’s attitudes toward the coal industry,” said Coal Forum Co-chairman Chris Hamilton.

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

In Pruitt’s official filing to repeal the Clean Power Plan, he states EPA lacks the statutory authority for such an over-reaching regulation that is fraught with economic pitfalls and practical impossibilities. In an analysis by the National Review, the editorial board correctly summarizes the Clean Power Plan: “The combination of severe limitations on carbon dioxide emissions and incentives for adopting alternative-energy schemes was intended to achieve exactly what Barack Obama had previously promised to do: ruin the coal industry.”

Hamilton agreed with that analysis.

“We have been saying for years that the Clean Power Plan was nothing more than an orchestrated campaign to destroy coal mining in the United States, particularly in Appalachia,” Hamilton said. “Repealing the CPP is the right thing to do. EPA’s actions today are further proof that we now have an administration that understands the massive role coal plays in the American economy and electric grid and that the agency also finally understands the limits on the power granted to it by Congress.”

For additional information, contact the West Virginia Coal Forum at (304) 957-2306. 

"Anything that will help bring coal miners back to work is welcome news to the West Virginia Coal Forum. The governor's bold plan gives the federal government the chance to help coal miners return to work and alsobring much-needed stability to the eastern electric power grid. We areeager to work with Gov. Justice on this plan as more details become available."

By Chris Hamilton
Co-chairman, West Virginia Coal Forum
Senior Vice President, West Virginia Coal Association

Morgantown City Council is starting down a dangerous path.

In late June, the Council began consideration of a resolution to have the city of Morgantown support the Paris Climate Accord’s overall emissions reduction goals.

This action flies in the face of what is best for West Virginia and the nation. Let’s remember that President Donald Trump officially paused American compliance with the Accord while he renegotiates better terms for our country.

If the resolution ultimately passes, Morgantown will join other cities that have taken independent action on climate change via the Paris Accord regardless of the economic consequences.

Let’s be clear about this: Morgantown’s action serves as an affront to every single coal miner, manager and vendor that works tireless to keep coal mines running to produce low-cost reliable electricity for Americans.