Press Archive


Friends of the West Virginia Coal Forum,

We want to call your attention to this happening in Gainesville, Florida.

Our co-chair, Chris Hamilton (who is also with the West Virginia Coal Association and serves as Chairmen of the WV Business and Industry Council) has responded:

“I ask you to rethink your impulsive decision to stop supplies of clean burning, reliable fuel from our great state. The Sierra Club and other critics of surface mining methods would rather see an end to fossil fuels and coal altogether but do not necessarily care about continuing reliable and inexpensive power for household and industrial use. Quite frankly, this power is mined by some of the best miners you'll find anywhere in the world. Miners who, incidentally, exhibit great care and sophistication when extracting this commodity to minimize impacts to the environment and their neighbors. They also bring their families to the great Sunshine State routinely to spend their hard earned vacation dollars throughout your many tourism centers. Enacting a ban on West Virginia coal would be akin to West Virginia enacting a ban on Florida sunshine or oranges.  We simply ask that you learn the truth about surface mining in our great state before you would discontinue its use. I want to also ask for the opportunity to speak to this issue before you finalize your decision.”

This is our open letter,

Here in the Mountain State, we're happy to hear that Gainesville loves mountains -- as home to some of America's most stunning ranges, we're partial to them as well. The special interests behind the Gainesville City Commission's move to ban coal products sourced from West Virginia are unfairly targeting not only hardworking West Virginians, but Gainesville families already struggling to pay their bills. Producing clean-burning and inexpensive fuel continues to be the focus of miners from West Virginia to Kentucky and beyond. Thanks to the hard work of miners across Appalachia, surface mining generates some of the most cost-effective energy for consumers throughout the nation -- including our friends down in Gainesville.

Over the years of -- well, having mountains, West Virginia has learned a thing or two about how to manage them. In fact, we invite the City Commission to come up for a visit to experience the cutting-edge site reclamation techniques we've developed to mitigate environmental impact and restore or redevelop sites. Many of these reclaimed areas have become schools, playgrounds, and parks, and form the basis of thriving communities -- communities not altogether unlike the working families of Gainesville.

Residents interested in keeping Gainesville Regional Utility customers' rates affordable can share their views with the Gainesville City Commission by dialing 352-334-5016 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the meantime, we'll worry about our mountains.