Forum Presents Benefits of West Virginia Coal Exports (WTOV)
Coal Forum Presents Benefits of Coal Powered Energy
By Jon Rudder OHIO COUNTY, W.Va
Representatives from across the state were in Ohio County on Thursday to present a coal forum. With the coal exports from West Virginia growing by 40 percent from 2011-2012, the Mountain State accounted for 49 percent of all coal exports for the year. But officials at say that’s not enough and that the restrictions politicians in Washington are putting on coal are in fact affecting themselves.
West Virginia takes pride in producing coal, and lots of it. However, representatives from the West Virginia Coal Association feel that the significance of coal and coal miners are undervalued. “We’re very proud to be the country’s power center and we want to continue to be that because we do have the best coal miners in the world,” Bill Raney president of the West Virginia Coal Association said. “We know how to build power plants and make something out of the coal that we bring out of the ground.” The West Virginia Division of Commerce estimates the state’s coal exports increased from $5.3 billion to $7.4 billion in 2012.
Despite restrictions that are being placed on coal in the United States, foreign reliance on coal has helped offset the lack of demand for coal at home. “Why are we sending it to the foreign countries who don’t, they don’t burn it near as clean as we do,” West Virginia delegate David Evans said. “The pollution is still being created, the pollution is worse than what we would have here. Why don’t we burn it here and create jobs with this cheap energy we have?” Raney said that West Virginia coal miners are the best in the world at what they do, and that politicians in Washington don’t realize how much they in fact are benefiting from coal. “That’s what I say, the people in Washington and Baltimore that their conveniences of life depend upon a coal miner here in West Virginia,” Raney said. “We just wish that they would unleash the the controls and the pressures that they have on us from Washington, and let us do what we do best.”
Raney said said that West Virginia is shipping coal to 36 countries across the world, while Evans added that coal byproducts are being used, right here in the Ohio Valley in Marshall county, to make products such as drywall and concrete.
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