Newly released data by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) show West Virginia by far continues to be the leading source of coal distributed to foreign destinations.

In 2008, the most recent year for which EIA data are available, West Virginia shipped almost 26 million tons of coal, accounting for more than 39 percent of total U.S. coal distributed to foreign markets. 2008 also marked the fourth consecutive year that West Virginia coal shipments to foreign markets have increased.

In total, the U.S. shipped approximately 66 million tons of coal to foreign markets, with production east of the Mississippi River accounting for 85 percent of those shipments.

More information is available at: EIA Coal Distribution Data.

NMA staff contact: Leslie Coleman at (202) 463-9780 or


Legislation creating the official State Friends of Coal license plate was approved by the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure of the West Virginia Senate this morning.  The stand-alone bill, SB 206, was unanimously adopted by the committee and will now advance to the full Senate for its approval.
The specific language of SB 206 was also amended into SB 4, which creates additional license plates, and will effectively increase its chance of passage.
We will keep you informed as this bill progresses through the legislative process.
In the meantime, please take a moment to contact both your Senate and House representatives to urge their support of SB 206 and SB 4, as amended.

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."

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.