CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Members of the Southern States Energy Board have pledged to have one voice aimed toward Washington and the federal EPA on the issue of coal.

West Virginia House of Delegates Finance Committee Chairman Brent Boggs, D-Braxton, just returned from the energy board’s annual meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi. He said the board talked about all forms of energy but spent most of its time on coal and the current struggles.

“Our state budgets are being put in a very difficult situation and I think by banding together and working jointly—sometimes you have to set aside across-state-line differences to work jointly and be more effective,” Boggs said.

Coal production is down with the uncertainty caused by EPA regulations. West Virginia continues to fall short of revenue estimates in severance tax collections. Boggs expects the next state budget to be the tightest in his 18-year legislative career.

The EPA came out with a new regulation recently that opponents say will make it nearly impossible to build coal-fired power plants in the future.

Boggs said the 16 energy board states have their work cut out for them but they don’t plan on quitting.

“When it comes to the security of our country and the economies of our states and the jobs, I really don’t think you ever say ‘enough is enough,'” Boggs said. “I think we need to stay in the game, keep hammering, keep pounding. The most dangerous thing we can do right now is to let our guard down, throw up our hands and give up.”

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is scheduled to be the chairman of the Southern Energy Board in 2015.


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  • Bim

    The coal battle has been going on for several years now with the EPA, no one can doubt that. Why has it taken this long for this group to try to do something for coal? It just sounds like another "lookin' good" thing for politicians. They might as well throw anti-gun control into the mix. This is coal's problem, past and present poor management at all levels to address the real future of the industry, cheap polluting small coal operators destroying the land, some call these non-union coal mines and natural gas is cheap and clean and in a huge abundance. WV will not return to "coal is king" and we must find something else!

  • David Kennedy

    An energy bridge needs to be formed in this country to take us to natural gas.
    Why not let coal do that?

    China brings over 300 coal fired plants on line each year and that never makes the news...
    I've seen their soot in the Oregon snow...crosses the entire Pacific Ocean to get to Oregon.
    That never makes the news either.
    What makes the news is emotional 'clap trap by idiots.
    Do they have any credible plan for a restructure? No.
    Do they have any alternative for the severance tax money or jobs lost? No.
    Once 1/2 of the Wv public schools are shut down; they will not reopen.

    The next election cycle will be a total revolt against the congressional insanity that is holding our country hostage.
    It will also be a return to fiscal conservation and a solid tax base.
    I hope Donald Trump runs for office... we need a person who can say those two magic words.."YOU'RE FIRED!

    • Lisa


  • Jeff

    Take note of these groups incessantly attacking the EPA boogie man, because they will be coming after you when we're producing our own power cleanly and cheaply.

  • Rob

    Coal is a 19th and 20th century industry and it's dying. What is left is going to be increasingly machine based, which is a trend we've seen since the late 70s. WV HAS to be proactive in this issue and accept this undeniable trend or were going to be stuck holding an even worse hand than we as West Virginians have been dealt. Unfortunately I fear most of my fellow statesmen will be too stubborn to look at this logically and continue to repeat whatever king coal spoon feeds them.

    • Coalwiz

      For you Rob.....I do agree that mechanization does curtail employment, but indirect jobs are created by this mechanization. People must build and maintain these machines.

      The real issue can be summed up below.

      The Merriam-Webster "Climate Change" Dictionary:

      PEER REVIEW: The act of banding together a group of like-minded academics with a funding conflict of interest, for the purpose of squeezing out any research voices that threaten the multi-million dollar government grant gravy train.

      SETTLED SCIENCE: Betrayal of the scientific method for politics or money or both.

      DENIER: Anyone who suspects the truth.

      CLIMATE CHANGE: What has been happening for billions of years, but should now be flogged to produce ‘panic for profit.’ It's the new "Global Warming"....the name may have changed, but the hoax is still the same.

      NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: Leftist Nutcase Prize, unrelated to “Peace” in any meaningful way.

      DATA, EVIDENCE: Unnecessary details. If anyone asks for this, see “DENIER,” above.

      CLIMATE SCIENTIST: A person skilled in spouting obscure, scientific-sounding jargon that has the effect of deflecting requests for “DATA” by “DENIERS.” Also skilled at affecting an aura of “Smartest Person in the Room” to buffalo gullible legislators and journalists.

      JUNK SCIENCE: The use of invalid scientific evidence resulting in findings of causation which simply cannot be justified or understood from the standpoint of the current state of credible scientific or medical knowledge.