Press Archive


July 4th, a time to celebrate our nation’s freedom, is upon us. This freedom has always been protected the hardworking sons and daughters of West Virginia, but who will protect West Virginia’s sons and daughters? Join us in Charleston on 11 July at 10am to discuss the future of West Virginia’s valuable export, coal. We have a growing list of speakers addressing how the rise of coal exports protect and shape our state economy. What will the future of West Virginia’s economy look like? Come and join us.

According to information released by the West Virginia Division of Commerce in February, West Virginia coal exports grew by 40 percent last year, increasing from $5.3 billion in 2011 to $7.4 billion in 2012.  West Virginia coal accounted for 49 percent of U.S. coal exports in 2012.

The West Virginia Coal Forum – an organization representing both labor and management in the coal industry – will host a meeting to discuss the significance of coal exports to our state and national economies at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 11 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Charleston.  

A variety of state experts and policy leaders will speak at the event, to include:

  • Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (Invited)
  • Ernie Thrasher, CEO of Xcoal Energy & Resources
  • Jeff Herholdt, Director of the WV Division of Energy
  • Michael Zervos, CEO, United Coal
  • Bill Raney, President of the WV Coal Association
  • Chris Hamilton, Vice-President of the WV Coal Association
  • Fred Tucker, UMWA (retired), Co-Chair WV Coal Forum

Seating is limited and reservations are required.  To make a reservation please email Joel L. Watts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Stakeholders in West Virginia’s mining economy – industry leaders, mining personnel, association representatives, local legislators and policy leaders – are encouraged to attend.

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