West Virginia coal mines: Where's the boost?

Published: Feb. 20, 2017 at 8:07 PM EST
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Good news for our neighbors in Pennslyvania. A new coal mine is opening and 70 people are set to be employed.

Many are giving a thumbs up to the new administration for making this happen. We also saw the Stream Protection Rule get repealed just last week. That move was praised by coal officials.

So is good news on the horizon for West Virginia and coal, just like in Pennslyvania?

When we talked with an official from the United Mine Workers of America. He said that with the Stream Protection Rule getting repealed, folks shouldn't lose their job down the road.

"There wasn't anybody who lost their job as a result of the stream protection rule because it was only a week or two before the new Congress and President Trump took office," said Phil Smith, Director of Communications and Governmental Affairs with the United Mine Workers of America. "But, where we think it does have the affect is keeping people from losing jobs that otherwise would have."

And is there a new found hope for coal in the Mountain State with this current administration? Another coal officials believes so.

"What it does is provide a platform of certainty as opposed to terrible, paralyzing uncertainty that we've had since the last eight years with the war on coal," said Bill Raney, President of the West Virginia Coal Association.

Both also said it's still too early to say coal is back in full force in West Virginia.