This is the same old story with a different tune. You cant bash coal and present un-truths if someone is there with facts about coal. Just like these peacenic's tho, act like experts and they know nothing really at all about the topic.
Industry Feels Left Out Of WJU Mining Panel
By SHELLEY HANSON
WHEELING — Chris Hamilton says the coal mining industry has high standards for land
reclamation, despite what some contend.
That is why he can’t understand how the coal industry was left out of a discussion at a local
university about mining and the environment.
Hamilton is senior vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association — a trade group that
represents numerous coal mining companies. He said Wednesday he disagrees with a recent
assessment of the state of coal mining and its impact on the environment in West Virginia.
A group discussion about coal mining was hosted Tuesday at Wheeling Jesuit University.
Much of the talk focused on the impact of mountaintop mining in southern West Virginia.
Panelists included Davitt McAteer, university vice president of sponsored programs and
author of an independent report about the cause of the Sago Mine disaster that killed 12 coal
miners in January; Cindy Rank, a member of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and
West Virginia headwaters waterkeeper; Chuck Keeney, a West Virginia historian and
professor at West Virginia University; and Harold Erdoes, Ohio political coordinator for the
United Mine Workers of America.
Hamilton said he was disappointed a representative of the West Virginia coal mining industry
was not included in the discussion. If there had been, he said, the panel would have been
McAteer said, however, although industry members were not formally invited to the
discussion, it was open to the public. McAteer noted industry members conduct panel
discussions without inviting environmentalists.
“We are anxious to have a balanced approach. We have plans to have an industry evening
with industry representatives to talk about mining, how it impacts the state and how the
industry participates in the process,” McAteer said, noting the industry panel is expected to
occur in January or February.
On Tuesday, some panelists said the impact of mountaintop mining on the environment and
people includes flooding and contamination of ground water.
Hamilton said, however, the impact of all types of coal mining is “temporary in nature.” Coal
mining at a particular site can last from five to 30 years, he noted. The current laws related to
coal mining and the environment in West Virginia are comprehensive and stringent.
“People come from all over the world to see how we do it here,” Hamilton said, referring to
coal mining companies. “We have a high level of professional standards.”
He noted surface mining, which is similar to mountaintop mining, is conducted in the Upper
Ohio Valley. Reclamation of the land is a priority, he said.
For example, the land on which the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville now sits once was the
site of surface mining.
“Both sides of the interstate— the whole area” was mined, Hamilton said. “Now it’s very
green. There are some evergreen farms and some pastureland.”
Hamilton said he may organize his own panel discussion in the Wheeling area and invite
those who participated in Wheeling Jesuit University’s forum.
Originally from Wheeling, Hamilton has been employed in the coal mining industry for 35
years. He once worked for Valley Camp Coal in Triadelphia and is a certified mine foreman.
The West Virginia Coal Association has been in existence since 1915. Companies pay dues
to be members of the association, he said.