Alabama Coal Association Expands, Rebrands as Alabama Mining Association
By Sean Ross
February 9, 2021 - Following a vote by its membership, the Alabama Coal Association on Monday announced its expansion and rebranding as the Alabama Mining Association (AMA).
AMA’s formation includes a new digital identity and website, which can be accessed here.
A release from the association advised that the mission of AMA “is to promote the safe and sustainable mining of the natural resources that strengthen our infrastructure and grow our economy for all Alabamians.”
“Whether you mine the stone, sand and gravel that strengthens our infrastructure, met coal exported to steelmakers around the world or the thermal coal that powers local industry, AMA is the partner that keeps you producing,” stated Patrick Cagle, president of the Alabama Mining Association.
The release continued to emphasize that safety and sustainability are the cornerstone of every successful mining operation and at the heart of what AMA stands for.
“Our industry’s greatest responsibility is to ensure the health and safety of our workforce and our neighbors in the local communities in which we operate. We must also make sustainability and the stewardship of Alabama’s bountiful natural resources our priority and purpose. The objective of AMA is to provide our members with the 21st century tools to tackle these challenges now and far into the future,” the association wrote. “AMA is enthusiastically leading the effort to bring the concept of sustainable mining to the United States and is the first state association to establish a sustainable mining program. Focusing diligently on sustainability efforts at the state level allows AMA to help its members set constructive goals and achieve outcomes that are meaningful to the citizens of Alabama.”
To this end, AMA will reportedly hold its first Annual Safety and Sustainability Awards Dinner this fall. Sustainability projects submitted by the organization’s members will be evaluated by a panel of judges comprised of regulatory agency leaders, wildlife officials and conservation organization leaders. By adopting a free market approach to recognizing sustainability achievements, AMA ultimately aims to positively incentivize innovative projects that achieve impactful results.
The release also noted that AMA will continue the association’s long history of advocacy efforts, now as “the collective voice of the mining industry.”
Additionally, the association released a survey memo by prominent data analytics firm Cygnal that showed positive results for the mining industry.
For example, Cygnal’s polling showed that more than two-thirds of Alabamians have a favorable view of coal, with more room to grow through further educating the public about the industry. “However, there is an even greater opportunity to increase support for non-coal related mining in the state, as this side of our industry, while also popular, is less familiar to citizens across the Yellowhammer State,” AMA stressed.
“As the collective voice of Alabama’s mining industry, AMA is the advocate dedicated to ensuring that decision-makers at the local, state and federal level understand how our industry supports the economy in their communities and improves the quality of life of their constituents,” Cagle concluded. “We are fully committed to strengthening relationships with our regulators to help us accomplish our shared goals.”
This comes after a study recently showed that Alabama’s coal mining industry has a total output impact of $2.9 billion, a total earnings impact of $1.2 billion and a total economic impact of 15,000 full-time-equivalent jobs. Moreover, at Alabama’s current impressive rate of met coal production, the state’s met coal resources will last for another 309 years, “making it Alabama’s most lasting fossil fuel resource.” Data showed that the state holds approximately four billion tons of economically recoverable coal reserves.
Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper), who has proudly called himself “the coal senator,” said in a statement, “Mining is a very important part of our state’s economy, and I value the work that the Alabama Mining Association does to support this critical industry. Their expansion to represent all mining operations will benefit the many companies who produce the construction aggregates used to build and improve our state’s important infrastructure and drive economic growth.”