Register-Herald Reporter

Mountain State University students as well as community members will have an opportunity to participate in a forum designed to address important issues regarding coal mining Wednesday in Carter hall. The forum, title, “Appalachian Coal Mining Under Attack,” will feature a presentation by Gene Kitts, senior vice president for mining service of International Coal Group Inc (ICG), followed by an open question and answer session.

“we’re doing this just to offer the public an opportunity to learn what is happening in today’s political environment and social environment (in relation) to the coal industry because it is very important to the economy of West Virginia,” said Dr. Norman Hinkle, dean of MSU’s School of Business & Technology.

Kitts’ presentation will include information including the progress made in safety, productivity and environmental protection in the past two centuries as well as the future of the coal industry.

Information provided will be “timely and critical” to those interested in West Virginia’s economy.

“Most people have heard a lot about cap-and-trade and he’ll (Kitts) talk about that and how it could negatively affect the coal industry,” Hinkle said.

Although Kitts will talk about the importance of the coal industry, Hinkle said he wants to “be very clear that we’re not taking a pro-coal stand,” he said. “We’re just doing this to offer the public and our students an opportunity to know what’s going on.”

The forum is scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m. For more information, contact Hinkle at 304-929-1320.


Charleston Gazette - January 12, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's leading lawmakers said Tuesday that protecting the coal industry will be their priority during this year's regular legislative session, which starts Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Truman Chafin, D-Mingo, said the Obama administration and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are taking a "harsh stand" against coal.

"They have a whole new attitude about the coal industry," Chafin said Tuesday during the West Virginia Chamber's 2010 Legislative Issues & Outlook Conference in Charleston. "We just have to stand united."