Bluefield Coal Show officially begins - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Bluefield Coal Show officially begins


Today was the first day of the 22nd Bluefield Coal Show, and many dignitaries were on hand for the biennial event.

The coal show unofficially began with an address from the President of the National Mining Association, Hal Quinn. Though natural gas has become a big competitor, Quinn says Obama-era legislation didn't help the coal industry either. "I'll say recent federal policies in the last administration, forced coal to compete, under enormous and largely unjustified regulatory burdens, that penalized coal specifically, and consumers ultimately." 
After his address, the show officially began with event founder Charles Peters cutting the ribbon. Roaming the grounds was West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney, who explains how local economies are all intertwined. "Mercer County itself doesn't produce a whole lot of coal, but Wyoming and McDowell County do. Raleigh County does. All the surrounding counties absolutely do. So you got a lot of folks working in Princeton and Bluefield today in shops, and they service the coal industry in the producing counties." 
In the afternoon, Governor Jim Justice stopped by to visit miners and admire some of the machinery. Justice says he's all-for diversifying the state's economy, but believes coal is still the way to go. "Whether it be tourism or manufacturing or whatever it may be, but I don't want us to lose coal jobs. I want us to propagate additional coal jobs. Because those are great jobs, and they bring great severance to us, and lot and lots of goodness to our state."

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