Joe Stevens/Media Center

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin held a ceremonial bill signing Tuesday, signing HB 4346 which creates a framework with how the state can deal with federal guidelines for clean air while protecting coal.

 

LOGAN, W.Va. — It seemed somewhat ironic Tuesday that at the same time coal supporters were holding a forum on the importance of the industry at Logan High School, President Barack Obama was meeting at the White House with scientists on climate change and how to further deal with carbon emissions.

What was just a coincidence wasn’t lost on West Virginia Coal Association Vice President Chris Hamilton.

“They are promoting the Climate Plan while we are here promoting a bill that’s aimed to mitigate the devastation from the president’s climate plan,” Hamilton said.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin previously signed HB 4346 into law but did it again Tuesday as part of the ceremony.

“It establishes a framework for the state to begin to design and develop its compliance plan (with federal regulations) but at the same time relying on traditional base fuels here in West Virginia,” Hamilton said.

The third National Climate Assessment unveiled at the White House said climate change was here and now. The report said West Virginia could be in for significant heat waves in the years to come.

“Under both emissions scenarios, the frequency, intensity, and duration of heat waves is expected to increase, with larger increases under higher emissions. Much of the southern portion of the region, including the majority of Maryland and Delaware, and southwest West Virginia and New Jersey, are projected by mid-century to experience more than 60 additional days per year above 90°F compared to the end of last century under continued increases in emissions (A2 scenario). This will affect the region’s vulnerable populations, infrastructure, agriculture, and ecosystems,” the report said.

National media reports said Tuesday President Obama would use the latest assessment to further address emission issues while bypassing Congress to get it done.

Back in Logan Hamilton maintained coal would still have to play a role in the nation’s energy future.

“Somebody has to embark on a more commonsense approach and utilize these resources we have,” he said.

More coal-fired power plants are scheduled to close in the next year in West Virginia and the Obama administration’s EPA will release new emission standards for existing power plants in the months ahead. Hamilton said the recent winter was proof the generating capacity is still needed.

“We just narrowly escaped this winter with being able to meet our energy needs,” he said. “Now if we have the same type of winter next year when we are beginning to take these power generators off line, who knows what we will experience.”

The National Climate Assessment is mandated by Congress to be published every four years

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Comments

  • Brian

    I think most people want cheap clean energy. The EPA is out of control as much as the pro coal rhetoric. Both sides are at fault and the final say will come from people's wallet. In the meantime, it's stupid rhetoric on both sides.

  • Sam

    The perspective in Logan County was really I have all the political candidates here on stage you should vote for. Here is Art Kirkendoll who Kabler states in his column is being accused of having the competition's political signs removed in Logan area, as well as telling individuals not to place certain signs on their property. That is what Logan County is all about and that is what Art Kirkendoll is about.

    Ojeda, an adversary of Rahall, is not allowed to go to students classes to talk about his experiences in the military, as it is seen as a political move. BUT Earl Ray Tomblin can in perfect timing bring all the polticians at once to Logan, have a photo op and take the kids out of school under the guise that this is educational. Students in this state, last in math and reading, no problem in Logan County, you don't need "them kind of smarts" to be like Kirkendoll and roll the state for a lot of money and pension. And if you can help him get enough votes and take down enough of the "other side's" political signs, he just might be able to help you get a state job, you will be set for life. Wonder how many Logan politicians have more than a high school diploma or GED?

  • Mason County Contrarian

    The free market will decide the future of electricity generation in this country; no politician, left or right or center, can stay the forces of the market.

    • Mason County Contrarian

      One of coal's problems is of a public relations nature.

      As an afterthought, coal needs an industry spokesperson, similar to that of the natural gas industry. Without sounding sexist, the blonde who pitches the 60-second commercial touting the economic benefits of the natural gas industry is much more effective than some wrinkled-face old dude berating the EPA in a five or six-second sound bite on the local news.

      Just an afterthought......

  • steve

    Mr. O is letting it slide for now but don't forget....natural gas is a fossil fuel and sooner or later those who buy his myth about the cause of climate change will be waging war against it as well.

    • dolphin3111

      I agree Steve, all common fuels contain Carbon and the primary product of combustion is Carbon Dioxide.

      Mr. O is not looking out for the people of the United States, that's for sure.

  • billyed

    Don't be fooled by these Out of State Big Money interests. Such as, West Virginia Coal Assoc. and Friends of Coal. Coal industry has known for 25 years that they need to clean there act up. What have they done?
    They haven't cleaned up, they just invested in GOP Politics to plant right-wing Judges and promote there fear and lies.

    • dolphin3111

      billyed, The big power companies, in the last seven years. have invested hundreds of millions in West Virginia alone on state of the art clean air technology. Most notable are the Amos and Mitchell stations. There are others.

      Trying to keep up with the EPA is like shooting at a moving target.

      The new reegulations that we are talking about (CO2 sequestration) today are those that the EPA says is possible, but have not been proven to be feasible in commercial situations. AEP gave up on it, saying it was too expensive.

      The core problem however is not that CO2 sequestration is economically possible, but that CO2 is really NOT a pollutant like the EPA has deemed it to be! CO2 is a naturally occurring compound that is essential for life as we know it.

  • Jeff

    “We just narrowly escaped this winter with being able to meet our energy needs”

    Yeah, the WV coal association VP is definitely the authority I would seek for topics like this. Seems like an excellent source...

    “Now if we have the same type of winter next year when we are beginning to take these power generators off line, who knows what we will experience.”

    ...well maybe not

    • The bookman

      And you owe Mr Hamilton an apology!

      • Jeff

        Yeah right, Mr. Hamilton has as much authority to talk about management of power systems as you do global warming.

        • The bookman

          Did you read the article, or is Reuters not reliable in your world? The facts are Mr Hamilton's assessment is accurate, and your rebuttal is without any substance. You want to claim his opinion is tainted because he is a proponent of coal, yet you actually have zero information to dispute his claims. When provided the proof in documented form, you still neglect to offer any tangible evidence to support your position. This is a forum for debate, and opinions are welcome. But when you refute the opinions of others, you should really at least support your statements with an attempt to be factual.

          • The bookman

            Jeff,

            I mean to say....what I said. Not sure what you mean to say, other than you have no substantive evidence that we have the supply or infrastructure in place to allow NG to supplant coal as our largest producer of electrical generation. That is the debate, as that was your contention by calling out Mr Hamilton on his suspect statements regarding energy availability this past winter. I don't disagree that he brings a bias to the debate, but you can't dismiss his statement based solely on that bias. In this instance the facts bear out his statement to be accurate. People with a different perspective do add to the debate, and shouldn't be dismissed based on their bias. Challenged, yes, with facts, not rhetoric and off topic debate.

          • Jeff

            What are you going on about? You mean to say that dependence on fossil fuels and centralized generation does not promote a dependable electrical system? I already knew that, but I don't think that's what Mr Hamilton was complaining about.

    • The bookman

      You sure you want to stick with that position?

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/12/us-usa-naturalgas-cold-analysis-idUSBREA1B12320140212

      As I have stated many times, NG has its place in our energy infrastructure. It just isn't ready to replace coal.

      • Jeff

        If we narrowly escaped this winter and fossil fuel prices soaring, why is there a war against decentralized solar? Why is there a war against disconnecting from the grid? Why is there a war against efficiency investments? Why is there a war against demand side management? Why is there a war against integrated resource planning?

        Since he's so worried, I'm sure Mr Hamilton has investigated these topics for his "common sense approach."

        • The bookman

          Right after adjusting the air in his tires to improve gasoline mileage in his SUV. Where are these wars you describe occurring? Who is discouraged from living a more energy efficient life? There are tax credits provided got such investment. Is that a disincentive? Not hardly.

          • Aaron

            I'm not pro-coal, I'm pro-energy. Were solar a viable, cost effective source capable of replacing coal, I'd be all for it.

            Given that solar panels are very expensive to produce, the source is intermittent and storage of energy is next to impossible and requires a tremendous amount of space to provide energy, I don't even need to discuss the toxic greenhouse gases like Nitrogen trifluroide and sulfur hexafluoride that are linked to producing panels both of which are far more devastating to the environment than carbon dioxide, solar is simply not a viable replacement for coal.

            I can't help but note Jeff that in all your discussions you've yet to explain what can replace coal as a producer of more than a billion kilowatts of electricity each year.

            Why is that?

          • Jeff

            Aaron, just because you don't want to believe there is a campaign to hamper solar doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Anyway, it's good to see because it at least shows it's a threat.

            You do not want to go down subsidy road. As pro-coal, that's pretty brave of you.

          • Aaron

            Squash solar? Really. Despite the hundreds of billions in subsidies solar has received, it still only provides .11% of our electrical energy.

            And in your mind, the resason solar is so low is because the Koch Brothers and a legislative group are responsible for keeping solar down.

            Right.

          • Jeff

            These wars are happening right now and right under your nose. You're living under a rock if you missed the push from Koch and ALEC to squash solar and net metering state by state. I hope you followed where your WV legislature and PSC have both contributed to denying energy efficiency and locking us in to higher energy rates fro decades. You should definitely look into those decisions and who were behind them. I'm guessing you ain't mad.

    • Aaron

      So what do you replace coal with as an energy source.

      • middle leaning right

        Is there no technology that will allow the use of coal! Clean coal technology? Just asking! Don't support this administration, just thinking outside of the box! Can we find a way to use coal BETTER? I support the miners who work so hard at a job that is so dangerous! Would really like to hear if there is a way to use coal smarter! Just asking

        • middle leaning right

          And one other question for thought! I was out on my porch last night enjoying a beautiful evening! And I was thinking about this ozone thing. Shortly after 9/11 when all flights were grounded, there were no con trails! Why is it that nothing is ever said about our airliners dumping jet fuel directly into the ozone? I am just a working man and maybe I am stupid, but has anyone ever studied the effects of this! Go to flight aware and check out how many planes are flying at all times, I did and it blew my mind! Just asking?

          • middle leaning right

            Jet fuel IS a hydrocarbon fuel! But no one ever talks about it's effect on the ozone!

  • Worm

    Global warming is believed by most of the country. Wether it's real or not, people from other parts of the country are not going to rush to the aid of West Virginia coal mining. In the end coal will become second place to natural gas. But it will never produce the same number of jobs as coal. The only way the state survives is to drastically reducing spending.....and you know that will never happen.

  • Aaron

    37% of all electricity generated in 2012 was done so with coal. Natural gas was the next largest supplier, generating about 30% of our needs. Nuclear provides 19% and Hdropower generates 7%.

    Other renewable sources accounted for 5%.

    5%

    I have been waiting about 7 years now for someone to give a credible answer as to who replace coal.

    I have a feeling that 7 years when were experiencing routine brownouts and consumption limitations, I will still be waiting.

  • DP

    Whatever happened to the global COOLING the Far Left Wackjobs were promoting in the mid 70???

    • The bookman

      When global cooling failed to materialize, the agenda driven scientific community mobilized to create the next best solution. Global Warming. Now the wheels came off of Global Warming and they finally settled on climate change. The bad news is that they are right. The good news is that we have a couple 100,000 years and there isn't a thing we can do to stop it.

      • Hop'sHip

        Bookie: I usually count on you as one that brings informed, sober reflection to the debate. I may be wrong, but I think I remember you telling us you are a regular reader of Scientific American. Are you seriously joining our friend DP. - not known for sober reflection - in claiming an equivalency in the scientific community of the "global cooling" claims of the 1970s and today's acceptance of human-induced global warming? You have young children, I believe, and I suspect you are a great father. No concern over not taking a prudent approach so as to not leave them with a less livable existence? How far does your antagonism go? Do you support what some states are doing prohibiting educational institutions from even studying the subject?

        • The bookman

          It is one thing to study a subject, it is quite another to advocate an agenda. This is agenda driven science, with simply more money behind it than the cooling debate of the 70's. It isn't settled science that the Earth is in fact getting warmer, or that man has caused it in any way. Climate change is a fascinating subject, but I would place it in its proper place. Scientists are taking short term anomalies in weather patterns and extrapolating the continuing pattern given a series of variables. Using computerized weather projection models, they feed this data into their models, and develop a projection based on mathematics and variable data that THEY determine. The models don't stand up to observations, as these models laid out temperature grids that we are now well below. Incumbent in this debate was the rapid acceleration of temperature across time, with the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere being the culprit. Neither are happening. So instead of admitting the flaw in the model, they give explanation as to what the possible reasons are for the failure. Now that is science. I have no problem with science asking questions, developing theories and testing them. But drawing conclusions long before the experimentation process is over, and enacting politically driven agendas and destroying industries who provide a valuable product and increase the standard of living in the world is not science. I enjoyed studying climate, geology, paleontology, astronomy, meteorology and population ecology when in school. I still follow and/or read anything on those subjects that comes across my plate. I want my children to walk through life with their eyes wide open, as I try to do. Listen to what is going on around you, study the issues from both sides, and apply what you know, what you've learned and what the past can tell you. I know conclusively that there is no certainty that man is impacting the climate. In my mind and my heart, I know that. Is it changing? Of course, it always is changing. But it is slow and gradual. Very slow. And on a scale within periods of weather patterns up or down it isn't possible to know for certain if we are headed up or down. And it doesn't matter in my opinion if we are or aren't, as we have no control over it in my opinion.

          • Aaron

            I would agree that this administration has no intent on compromise. You are correct in that the President stated his desire to bankrupt the industry. Personally, I am at a conundrum as I believe we should strive as ardently as possible to provide clean air and water but that with uba-liberals, it will never be enough.

          • The bookman

            Aaron,

            I think industry's response to reasonable and achievable limits in the reduction of particulate pollution is proof that there is a desire to comply. The administration's stated goal of bankrupting the industry leaves no room for reasonable achievable limits. People should demand clean air and clean water, and my support for coal doesn't indicate a willingness to sacrifice a portion of that in the name of advancing our economy. Every person in WV is directly impacted by the emission plumes of power generation plants, some more than others. I grew up under VEPCO's Mt Storm plume. A reasonable approach is what is needed, not all or nothing.

          • Aaron

            My 2 cents Bookman. First, I wouldn't classify John Stossel a Fox guy. Yes, that is where is current show is but as a hard line Libertarian, he hardly fits the mold. He was ran out at ABC because he would not conform to their stances on issues such as global warming and taxation yet they claim to be unbiased.

            Secondly, while I agree with you on the impact of global warming and man's ultimate responsibility, I have no problem in taking some action. As I've said before, I live in Poca and prior to the scrubber stacks that were essentially mandated by this very issue, there was a tremendous amount of ash spewed over the better parts of 5 or 6 communities. I'm sure people who live near Willow Island, Mason, Cheshire, OH, Moundsville or any of the other plants would tell you the same thing.

            And while I have no qualms about reducing emissions, I do understand that Obama and his liberals are going to far. Sadly, I don't see a reasonable middle ground on this issue.

          • The bookman

            It is not unbridled industrialization that I seek. It is a balance between protecting our environment and advancing our society, from a world perspective, not national perspective.

            Here's an interesting piece, albeit a Fox News column, from John Stossel.

            http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/04/16/earth-day-why-am-cheering-for-fossil-fuels-this-year/

            Industry doesn't always get it right, and the watchful eye of regulatory agencies should not be naive in their approach, but the pendulum has swung off the pivot point with this debate. Stossel posits an interesting argument for fossil fuel use in this article, and given your concerns of income inequality, you may find it interesting.

          • Hop'sHip

            We'll you didn't disappoint. That was a sober presentation. You obviously have more knowledge on the subject than I do regarding the evidence. I would only point out a couple of obvious things. Requiring certainty before taking any action is a prescription for doing nothing, which I take is indeed your prescription. On that basis we would have taken no action to discourage tobacco use, which very well may be your position as a conservative. Also obviously there is substantial money and political opportunism directed to protecting the status quo. In fact that is why they will win, I expect, not because of their science-based arguments.

  • DWL

    The m0r0n view and the UNION view. 20/20 in hind sight. You get what you paid for in the UMWA dues and the election of liberals (d).

  • RogerD

    You deniers need to realize how dangerous "global warming" really is. It's dangerous because it's a hoax propped up by junk science and is being used to control people with higher energy and food costs. This movement started some time ago and is why we're stuck with ethanol in our gasoline. It's why our mines and power plants being shut down. It's going to get worse until we stand up and say NO!

    • ViennaGuy

      That's one reason why I buy ethanol-free gas - and ONLY ethanol-free gas. :-)

      • RogerD

        VG, you are very fortunate. Many (most?) of us do not have ethanol-free gas available in our areas.

        • ViennaGuy

          Ethanol-free gas is available in more areas than people realize, but it can be hard to find. Unfortunately, there is no one web site which lists all of the stations that have it ... you have to do some searching. Some sites which list stations that have ethanol-free gas are pure-gas.org, buyrealgas.com, and historicvehicle.org(click the resources tab). Some of the stations which have it don't specifically mention it on the pump; you'll have to ask if they have it.

          Ethanol-free gas is commonly available at marinas, too.

  • fedup

    Climate change happens four times every year: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall....nothing but goofballs in DC.......