Press Archive


The West Virginia Coal Forum kicked off it 2017 tour with June events in Morgantown and Charleston and made it clear to the state that coal mining is here to stay.

“On the Road: 2017 and Beyond” provided updates on West Virginia’s coal industry performance, and featured presentations by Gov. Jim Justice, Senate President Mitch Carmichael, the dean of West Virginia University’s and mineral resources program, representatives from the state’s leading power companies, industry experts and leading coal researchers.

“These have been excellent events to kick off the Coal Forum’s 2017 meeting series,” said Chris Hamilton, co-chairman of the Coal Forum, which is an organization representing business and labor in the coal industry. “Our coal industry is ready to soar. We at the Coal Forum felt it was time to take a new message out on the road so the public can hear first-hand about all the incredible opportunities in store for West Virginia’s coal industry.”


Fred Tucker, a retired United Mine Workers of America representative and co-chairman of the Coal Forum, told the audience at the June 29 Charleston event that always will be proud of his family’s long career in the coal industry. West Virginians today need to support the industry and help it grow, he said.

“I’m proud to be a coal miner, proud to be with the UMWA,” Tucker said. “It’s time for everyone to support our coal industry and support our coal miners.”

Gov. Jim Justice spoke of his enthusiasm for the coal industry when he surprised the Charleston Coal Forum event with his appearance.

“There isn't anyone alive who is more pro-coal than I am,” Justice said. “We've got to find a way to use more West Virginia coal.”

Senate President Mitch Carmichael likewise voiced his ardent support of the industry. Both Justice and Carmichael said they will continue to work on reducing the severance tax burden on West Virginia coal so it can compete in America’s domestic energy markets.

“One of the reasons I'm so supportive of coal is that there is a moral imperative for low-cost energy – and that’s coal,” Carmichael said. “West Virginia taxes coal more than other states. We can't continue to do that if we want to build a world-class economy. … We've built this state on the backs of coal miners. We need to lower that tax burden and put more people back to work.”

The Coal Forum will continue to travel the state for the remainder of 2017 with a series of roundtable meetings. Details about future meeting dates and locations will be available soon.