As our nation moves forward to implement the trillion dollar Bi-partisan Infrastructure legislation to update and modernize America’s roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure, West Virginia coal will once again be called upon to provide the energy that will create the steel and provide the power to propel this massive, nationwide undertaking.

This is tremendous news that holds great promise for all American citizens and the future of our country.  We applaud Senators Manchin and Capito and Congressman McKinley for supporting this transformational legislation.

For West Virginia, this investment is exponentially beneficial.  Not only will we see a significant buildout and repair of our infrastructure and transportation systems, but our miners and coal industry stand to be recognized and, hopefully, appreciated for stepping up to meet the task at hand. 

Charleston, W.Va. – A nineteen-state coalition of State Attorneys General led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has successfully petitioned the United States Supreme Court to decide whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act.

The coalition’s appeal follows a January decision of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit striking down the Trump EPA “Affordable Clean Energy Rule” and petitions the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the legal foundation and limits of EPA’s underlying authority. 

Chris Hamilton, President and CEO of the West Virginia Coal Association, said, “We are very appreciative of General Morrisey’s efforts as he works tirelessly to champion causes which directly impact West Virginia jobs and our economy.”

We are witnessing a variation of the Green New Deal playing out before us in our nations’ Capitol and U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito are working tirelessly to defend the energy industries that employ tens of thousands of West Virginians and support our state’s entire economy. 

The egregious amendments insisted by President Biden and Congressional Leaders Schumer and Pelosi with help from their supporting cast of Senator Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others in the ongoing Budget Reconciliation package debate are in reality “the Green New Deal”.  Their proposals feature a Clean Energy Standard which imposes an 80 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and a Clean Energy Payment Program (or utility buy-out plan) which rewards electric utilities for annual carbon reductions and penalizes them when they fall short, as well as endless and expansive incentives for wind and solar energy production.

“While the mining industry is under attack by a President committed to moving our country away from fossil fuels, world events and energy markets have combined to dictate an increased demand for coal and West Virginia is starting to see the benefits,” said WV Coal Association President Chris Hamilton in addressing the Joint Legislative Committee on Energy at an Oct. 12th meeting in Charleston.

“Coal supplies have tightened, inventories are low, and the price of natural gas has skyrocketed,” said Hamilton. “This has given coal an advantage over competing fuels.” Hamilton noted that coal production in West Virginia is 20 percent ahead of 2020 output and the industry expects to finish the year strong.

Charleston, W.Va. – Chris Hamilton, president and chief executive officer of the West Virginia Coal Association offers the following statement regarding the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s order approving AEP’s request to comply with federally mandated environmental requirements at the John Amos, Mountaineer and Mitchell coal-fired power plants:

“On behalf of West Virginia’s mining and coal-fired electric generation industries, we appreciate the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s thoughtful and pragmatic order approving AEP to continue operating the John Amos, Mountaineer and Mitchell power plants through, at least, 2040.

Keeping these coal plants operational is not only the cheapest option for ratepayers, doing so retains thousands of jobs at the power plants, maintains significant sources of state and local tax revenue, keeps the local communities around these facilities vibrant, and sustains the coal mines, miners and hundreds of associated vendors that supply these plants with fuel.

Compared to replacing the coal plants with other generation sources or buying power from the wholesale market, upgrading these three generation facilities is the least expensive option for West Virginia rate payers and is clearly in the best interest of our state and our citizens.”

For additional information, contact Chris Hamilton at (304) 342-4153.