It’s time for a change. That was the message of all three of West Virginia’s Representatives to the U.S. House. They were guest speakers Friday at the West Virginia Mining Symposium in Charleston.

Third District Congressman Nick Rahall says the mining industry is facing a lot of uncertainty and it’s hurting business. However, he believes it is a temporary setback.

“Coal is not dead! King is not dead! We go through these cycles, up and down, good times and bad times. But it’s important to recognize we’re going to pull out of this,” said Rahall.

The Democrat says the industry is hurting because of the economy and politics in Washington. With Lisa Jackson out as the head of the EPA, Rahall says he’s not sure if new nominee Gina McCarthy will be any friendlier to coal.

“If she’s confirmed, I will definitely ask for a meeting with her, of coal state Representatives,” says Rahall. “I would hope that she would be more open to meeting not only with members of Congress from coal states but also the industry itself.”

One thing Rahall is not doing — holding his breath.

“This administration is not friendly to us. That’s unfortunate. Nevertheless, we’re going to survive. We’re going to continue to provide jobs for our people,” according to Rahall.

The Congressman says what the President really needs to do is find a nominee without previous bias towards the industry.

“I think it’s going to take an outsider quite honestly. You have to have an [EPA] administrator that understands the bottom line, the jobs that are involved with regulations that come out of the EPA and the repercussion on jobs,” says Rahall. “That’s what you need at the EPA.”

Also giving their opinions on coal were First District Congressman David McKinley and Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, both Republicans.

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  • Smokey

    Who keeps putting Rahall in office anyway? He has done nothing for the people of West Virginia.

  • Don Jr.

    Take a look at these articles by Fox news on clean coal technology that has now been developed by Ohio State:

  • Terry

    Rahall will most likely vote for confirmation of Gina McCarthy.

  • Doug

    Tim C, you're absolutely right about Rahall. He sure talks a good game, but fortunately people in his district are FINALLY realizing how dishonest he's been!

  • Derek

    Rahall with no backbone has allowed Obamas tactics kill coal. When are we as a state going to realize Rahall Manchin and the Obamas have the same direction. Typical two faced leadeeship.

  • Rick Lemasters

    Nick Rahall is not a worthy Rep for West Virginia and democrats will do nothing to combat anti-coal policies and regulations coming from the White House.

  • Brian

    WV economy should not be a one trick pony. We have a lot of coal, and we should mine it. We should also diversify our economy more. This state needs to develop a real city. There are thousands and thousands of native West Virginians other alumni around the country who would like to live in WV, but our pathetic, one-trick-pony economy can't support them here. There are literally thousands of smart people who are ready to come home right now, and the only thing stopping them is a decent job.

  • Fubar

    Hey I still have a pet rock along with a "rock concert" - and they're both smarter

  • Dave Warnick

    The idiot in the White House wants the US to stop burning coal under controlled conditions to reduce world air pollution. China and other developing countries will burn more coal without any controls and increase the world air pollution that the White House Idiot wants to reduce. Unfortunately we have to pay the price of increased energy costs with no real benefit.

  • Roger

    It appears Rahall is following the lead of Manchin in saying one thing and doing another. He can criticise the Democrat policies and politicians in Washington but when it comes time to vote, he's right there voting for everything these same people want.

  • Tim C

    Coal is gone....especially as long as Rahall is in office and a Democrat. He has done everything Obama wants him to do regarding coal. He continues to tell everyone how hard he works for coal while behind the scenes doing everything to sabotage the very lifeblood of this state. You people in Logan, Mingo, and McDowell counties still vote him right back in. Mercer county has figured him out and Raleigh county is beginning to. WAKE UP! If you get any dumber about this guy then your IQ has sunken to a point only associated with PET ROCKS!

    • Wowbagger


      I agree 100% however it is time to accept that West Virginia's coal production has peaked and will never be as high as it has been in the past. It would take a long time to explain the whole theory I am basing this statement on, but it was developed by a guy named M. King Hubbert observing production in the hard coal fields in eastern Pennsylvania and has proven to be a good way to describe production of any large, but limited non-renewable resource in a limited geographic area.

      What we need is to be able to continue to produce as much coal as possible and generate as many jobs as possible over the next twenty or thirty years while we encourage alternative industries.

      The Marcellus and Utica shale gas and liquid hydrocarbon plays offer a lot of promise, but gas exploration and production is not enough. We need industries that leverage the shale gas and liquids to generate enough jobs to gradually take the place of the mining jobs that will gradually disappear.

    • David

      That's real mature, insulting fellow West Virginians IQ!!!

    • Don Jr.

      Ohio State has developed new clean coal technology that extracts the energy from coal without burning. This chemical process causes the least amount of pollution of any form of energy per BTU. Fox News ran the story a couple of times, they won't let me post a link here. It is believed that eventually cars can be powered by this same technology.