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President of the West Virginia Coal Association Worried About Coal's Role Under Biden Presidency



November 11, 2020 - Leaders with West Virginia’s coal industry admit they are uneasy about the future with a Joe Biden Administration.

“When you got a guy who says they’re going to put the fossil fuel industry out of business, surely it doesn’t make anybody feel good around here,” said Bill Raney, President of the West Virginia Coal Association in an appearance on the show 580-Live on MetroNews flagship radio station WCHS-AM in Charleston Tuesday.

The industry was a strong backer of President Donald Trump and actively worked for his reelection. Since being declared the President-elect by several national media organizations, Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris have laid out their top priorities and one of those is addressing climate change.

Raney said the coal industry was left reeling after the Obama Administration’s approach to climate change for eight years and while things improved greatly under the Trump Administration, the prospects aren’t good if Biden is officially declared the winner.

“What we want, as we’ve always asked, is a level playing field and a fair chance at practical regulation and don’t have a mission in any of your agencies to put anyone out of business,” he said.

Raney said under the Obama Administration, subordinates within regulatory agencies were guided by an automatic aversion to fossil fuel, particularly coal, and were driven by an agenda to end extractive industries. According to Raney that is a dangerous policy plan for the nation. He added often regulatory changes which are debilitating to the industry seldom registered on the radar of the Oval Office unless they become front page news in the Washington Post or New York Times.

“Give us a fair shake and talk to us. The Obama Administration wouldn’t have anything to do with us. They spoke through their policy. So if he (Biden) becomes President I hope he’s one of the best Presidents we’ve ever had and one that is universal at looking at everything going on in America and realizing the importance off the coal industry.”