Articles and News

Coal Is the Fuel of the Past and the Future

Coal mining 1920

Hal Quinn, president of the National Mining Association, says coal in 2016 will again be the world’s favorite carbon fuel, pushing out petroleum as the world's largest source of energy.

This may seem especially surprising at a time when the use of coal in the United States is in decline, edged out by cheap natural gas and increasingly strict regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency. Yet a rising tonnage of coal is being used for electric generation worldwide.

Looking Back on the Paint Creek–Cabin Creek strike of 1912

Fred Mooney and Frank Keeney (right)

The Paint Creek Mine War started on April 18, 1912 and lasted until July 1913. This conflict was between striking coal miners and coal operators living and working in Kanawha County, West Virginia. Unfortunately, the conflict turned very violent and there were 50 deaths sdirectly related to the riot and numerous indirect deaths from malnutrition and starvation.

The violence erupted with the United Mine Workers of America strike in 1912. At the time, there were 96 coal mines in operation in Paint Creek and Cabin Creek and they employed around 7500 miners.

U.S. Coal Exports On Record Pace in 2012

Coal exports hit record level

U.S. 2012 coal exports, supported by rising steam coal exports, are expected to break their previous record level of almost 113 million tons, set in 1981. Exports for the first half of 2012 reached almost 67 million tons, surpassing most annual export volumes dating back to 1949. U.S. coal exports averaged 56 million tons per year in the decade preceding 2011.

State auditor predicts healthy future for coal industry

West Virginia Auditor Glen Gainer III predicted a sound and healthy future for coal Wednesday, and told county clerks in a Beckley gathering that Marcellus shale exploration will further enhance the state’s economy.

“West Virginia is on the cusp, I believe, of having a great revitalization,” he said.

Without mentioning directly the Environmental Protection Agency’s issues with mine operators, Gainer acknowledged there are “issues in the coalfields.”

“But coal is here and coal is going to be here a long time,” the longtime auditor said.

Thousands attend rally in SWVa. supporting coal mining, way of life in region

DAVID CRIGGER/BRISTOL HERALD COURIER - Noah Tickle of Roanake County, Va., walks through the crowd with a large sign during Saturday's pro-coal rally in Abingdon, Va


Betty and Denver Johnson’s two children, ages 13 and 7, wanted to name their baby brother after the industry their daddy works in.

So, Emory Daniel Coal Johnson was born.

“This brother and sister wanted to name him coal like a little lump of coal,” Betty Johnson, of Cleveland,Va., said of her youngest son.

For the Johnsons and many families throughout Southwest Virginia, coal mining isn’t just a job; it’s a way of life. And many believe that way of life is being threatened by federal regulations that crack down on the industry.

2012 Coal Festival in Madison

West Virginia Coal Festival

June 18 thru June 25, 2011 is a SPECIAL WEEK in the City of Madison and Boone County as we roll out the red carpet for our many vistors who are here for the 18th Annual West Virginia Coal Festival. The five-day event is great time to get together to celebrate coal mining and it's heritage, and to reminisce about the good 'ole days. We're mighty proud of an industry that orginiated right here in Boone County (Coal was First Discovered in Peytona in 1742). Boone Couny produces more coal than any other county in our state.

West Virginia economy saw third-highest growth rate in 2011

An increase in mining — including the Marcellus Shale natural gas play — has turbocharged the West Virginia economy. The Mountain State’s economic growth was the third-highest in the U.S. during 2011, outpacing all but North Dakota and Oregon.
W.Va economy saw third-highest growth rate in 2011

Pittsburgh Business Times
By Paul J. Gough

Mountaintop mining activists to rally in DC

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Opponents of mountaintop removal coal mining are trying to get attention on Capitol Hill.

After meeting with lawmakers and government agencies, they're planning a rally Wednesday at Upper Senate Park in Washington, D.C.

Jane Branham is with Virginia-based Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards. She says her health is failing, and she believes she's fighting for the survival of her family.

Appalachian Voices, the Alliance for Appalachia and other groups point to scientific studies to support claims that their communities and health are hurt.

Where will you be when the lights go out in America? (cont'd)

In Kentucky, hundreds of individual coal mining permits are typically approved each year. The application process has been in place for years. Companies applying for permits know the rules and applications are submitted accordingly. If a rule change is to be made, there is a process that includes a series of public hearings and industry input—providing participation for all parties. When a new rule is implemented, it often has a phase-in period and involved parties can prepare as they know about it far in advance.