The Friends of Coal are working with the representatives of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System to tell the story of the role the coal industry played in the creation of the hugely popular trail system and the role it continues to play as the system expands across southern West Virginia. Jeff Lusk, director of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails, says without the coal industry much of the trail would not be possible and that many of the existing trails incorporate former mine land and access roads used by the industry while mining was occurring. We will keep you updated as the planning continues.

The Friends of Coal will be co-sponsoring and presenting at the 2010 West Virginia Construction and Design Expo March 24 and 25 in Charleston. The event is a major part of the annual convention season and draws more than 6,000 attendees from across the country (last year attendees were from 26 states). The event begins at 10 am each day.

The Friends of Coal and the West Virginia Coal Association played host to another group tour by Wheeling Jesuit University this past Tuesday. This time the students were from Nebraska and were interested in getting a complete picture of the practice of mining, its economic impact on the state and the role it can play in building a new future for the people of the coalfields region.

Legislation introduced in the U.S. House by Rep. Frank Palone (D-N.J.) and in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) will severely restrict all types of coal mining, threatening thousands of high-paying coal jobs.

ACT now and urge Congress to reject the so-called "Clean Water Protection Act" (H.R. 1310) and the "Appalachian Restoration Act" (S. 696).

These bills jeopardize the future of domestic coal mining and will saddle American consumers and businesses with massive energy price hikes. Hundreds of thousands of mining jobs could be lost and many projects that help stimulate the economy will never be brought to fruition.

ACT now and urge Congress to reject misguided and ill-informed efforts to prohibit mining practices that create good American jobs and help power our homes and businesses with abundant and affordable domestic energy.

To write your members of Congress, please click here.

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 lcoleman@nma.org

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