November 20, 2023 - The West Virginia Coal Association (WVCA) President & CEO, Chris Hamilton, has a number of important activities to report:
Grassroots /Friends of Coal Campaign. WVCA has embarked upon an aggressive initiative this fall to reinvigorate and grow our loosely structured “army” of coal miners and their families to act on specific issues on behalf of the industry. Through email alerts and our social media platforms, we’re successfully using the Bloomberg petition to sign individuals up for FOC and for their voices to be heard. As of today, over 10,000 individuals have signed the petition! Please continue to encourage your employees to sign up for Friends of Coal by going to friendsofcoal.org. As part of this grassroots program, we are also in the process of creating a special cadre of member company representatives to guide this effort and ensure that a minimal response on every issue is generated from within your company or mine. We respectfully ask all member companies to provide us with the name of an individual to participate with us as part of this team. Please let us know if you need assistance with the petition or if you need FOC signup/registration cards to disseminate (see card here).
2024 Legislature Commences January 10 - WVCA is beginning to develop its issues and priorities for the 2024 Regulator Legislative Session which commences on Wednesday, January 10. As the case in previous years, the Association intends to develop its 2024 legislative program with an accompanying narrative in support of priorities over the remainder of this year so it’s ready to go at the outset of the 2024 legislative session. Please review and comment on the attached list (here) of potential topics and let us know whether there are other issues that should be included with our priorities. We are also planning the 2024 “Legislative Coal Forum” to coincide with the beginning of the legislative session on Thursday, January 11 in Charleston.
Political Action Committees — West Virginia’s political season is underway with candidates for major state offices heavily involved in fundraising and campaigning. This election cycle is accelerated with most races likely to be decided during the State’s Primary Election in May of 2024. The Association manages two PAC. West Virginians for Coal and the Coal Victory PAC. West Virginians for Coal writes monetary contributions to candidates and the Coal Victory PAC operates as an Independent Expenditure. Please consider a personal contribution today as we build the Association’s Political Action coffers. PACs can contribute up to $2,800 per individual for the Primary Election and General election or a total of $5,600 per person, per election cycle. WVCA members are permitted to contribute the same amount to the West Virginians for Coal PAC.
West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) Activity – The Association has been extremely involved with cases before the WVPSC over the past three years ranging from routine fuel maintenance cost recovery matters to proposals seeking to expand renewable energy buildout to the premature closing of one or more instate coal plants. The Association’s involvement goes hand in hand with one of its major objectives of preserving and protecting our instate coal fleet and coal consumption. (West Virginia’s nine coal plants consume 28 million tons of coal annually and account for nearly $14 billion of commerce and overall economic activity.) Other intervenors, in practically every coal case lining up against our interests include the National and WV Sierra Club, Solar Energy United, Citizens Action and Energy Users Group. The latter (EUG) is comprised of large industrials in the state who continue to promote greater renewable build out and natural gas usage along with “electric deregulation” generally. We recently intervened in a rate case involving First Energy which has a briefing and hearing schedule extending through the remainder of the year. A centerpiece of this case is the availability and price of NOx credits for FE’s Fort Martin Plant and how it impacts operating costs.
WVCA 50th Mining Symposium set for March 26-27, 2024 — WVCA will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the West Virginia Mining Symposium on March 26-27, 2024, at the Charleston Coliseum and Conference Center in Charleston WV. Please mark this date and plan to attend and celebrate the “Golden” Anniversary of the Industry’s Premier mining program. The WV Coal Mining Institute will join us in sponsoring this event featuring the traditional Mountaineer Guardian and Environmental Excellence Awards Luncheons and the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony. SEMCO Publishing, who produces the North American Mining Magazine, is planning a trade show and exhibit during the same time at the Charleston Coliseum and are simultaneously promoting our Symposium and WVCA membership with their show to help drive attendance.
For more information, contact Chris Hamilton, West Virginia Coal Association, President, firstname.lastname@example.org, (304) 342-4153.