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."

Beckley Register Herald - January 12, 2010

CHARLESTON — A southern West Virginia lawmaker feels the ultimate goal of the Environmental Protection Agency is to wipe out the entire coal industry by initially outlawing the mountaintop removal practice via uncompromising regulation.

“It’s an attack on the whole industry,” Delegate Steve Kominar, D-Mingo, said in Monday’s interims session.

His criticism of the federal agency came after lawmakers heard updates on improving brownfields in a meeting of the Joint Commission on Economic Development.