Fresh off a busy weekend, a dedicated group of ladies gather to sort and unpack items at the Friends of Coal headquarters in Mabscott.

“We set up a booth where we sold our wares,” Judy Bays, director of public relations for the Friends of Coal Ladies Auxiliary explains.

An assortment of items such as shirts, license plates, stickers, umbrellas, blankets and ponchos — all branded with the FOC logo — are available for purchase at a variety of events and festivals. 

The biggest sellers at their most recent show, the annual Friends of Coal Auto Fair, Bays says, were cooling towels.

More than 400 cars ranging from muscle cars to customs from all years were registered for the Friends of Coal Auto Fair's 13th annual event.

The event took place at the Raleigh County Memorial Airport in Beckley — the second year the event has been at this location.

JULY 14-15, 2017
Raleigh County Memorial Airport | Beckley, West Virginia

Fourteen years ago, members of the mining industry, local businessmen, and car enthusiasts came together with a plan to hold a fundraiser to help support the maintenance and operation of the just completed YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Sports Complex, which was built on several acres of land sitting on a former mine refuse site in Beckley, West Virginia.  The end product became the Friends of Coal Auto Fair - an event that not only met the initial goal of supporting this state-of-the-art facility, but one that has grown to support the local economy and the community of southern West Virginia.

Due to improvements at the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Sports Complex the Auto Fair was postponed for one year and resumed in 2016 at a new location, the Raleigh County Memorial Airport.  Thousands of people from all over the country gathered the third weekend in July of last year to take part in the car show, live music, special performances, helicopter rides and festival food - all for the common cause of giving back to the community of Southern WV.  In order to continue to make this event an incredible success and the cause a reality, we need your support.  

Our community’s kindness and generosity, particularly from the coal mining community, over the years has had a very profound effect on the event and in our southern coalfields.  Coal, and Coal Mining Community support, forms the lifeblood of this event, as coal is the lifeblood of the economies in Southern WV.  Three wonderful and local charities (Hospice of Southern WV, the Humane Society of Raleigh County, and the Women’s Resource Center) are the new beneficiaries of the Friends of Coal Auto Fair.  Just like the coal industry, these organizations help make Southern West Virginia the special place that it is.  Donors will be recognized on the Friends of Coal Auto Fair website, at the event, and in the hearts of those that your donation will help.  Any and all amounts of donations will be gladly and gratefully accepted.  Any donation to the event is tax deductible.  

If you have any questions about the Friends of Coal Auto Fair or would like to talk more about the three wonderful organizations this event supports, and how you can make a difference, please do not hesitate to contact Josh Jones.  He can be reached by phone, 304-255-6404, or by e-mail, at

I attended the kickoff media event for the Friends of Coal Auto Fair and am personally very excited about the new venue, the entertainment and activities that they have lined up, along with the great organizations this event is supporting.  Please visit the Friends of Coal Auto Fair website or visit them on Facebook.  Your support is needed for this event because you are giving back to the community that many work and live in and benefit from the organizations the event is supporting.


Bill Raney
West Virginia Coal Association

CHARLESTON, W.Va. ─ In his most eagerly anticipated official action to date, President Donald Trump officially curbed damaging federal regulations on electric power generation in the United States, and the West Virginia Coal Association is singing his praises.

“Never before have we seen a chief executive who has lived up to every promise made to West Virginia,” Coal Association President Bill Raney said about Trump’ executive order turning back the so-called Clean Power Plan from the Obama Administration.

Raney was on hand for today’s signing as a special guest of the Trump Administration.

 “We knew more good news was coming out of Washington for us when Vice President Mike Pence told West Virginia during his visit Saturday in Charleston that the war on coal is over,” Raney said. “There is still a lot to do to fix what the previous administration broke for the coal industry, but today is a great day.”

Today’s Energy Independence Executive Order was signed at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency headquarters, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was by his side. The order is intended to start the process of turning back the Clean Power Plan rules, which became final in 2016 and were a major contributing factor to power plant and coal mine closures across the country.

“The West Virginia Coal Association stands ready to provide any assistance it can to this brave new administration as it works on air quality rules that are based on reliable science, not ideology, and take into account the economic impact of regulations on states like West Virginia,” Raney said.

The order will require Pruitt to review the CPP program, which cuts carbon emissions from existing power plants 32 percent by 2030. It also orders the Department of Justice to ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to abruptly freeze the legal challenge against the Clean Power Plan, effectively ending the government's defense of the carbon program.

The order is also expected to cancel the Climate Action Plan, while instructing federal agencies to review actions that restrict energy production.

The order itself does not have legal force to repeal the Clean Power Plan, but it does send a signal to EPA to begin the process of rulemaking and public comment necessary to rescind it. The administration would then have to prove that the repeal was evidence-based and not arbitrary.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. ─ State regulators recognized a host of West Virginia mining operations for their reclamation and environmental stewardship during the 2017 West Virginia Mining Symposium.

The reclamation awards were announced Feb. 23 at the Charleston Civic Center, where the West Virginia Coal Association held its 44th annual symposium. Inspectors with the state Department of Environmental Protection selected the winners, and DEP Secretary Austin Caperton handed out the awards.