10 November 2009

Manchin Convenes Private Coal Powwow (Updated)

Gov. Joe Manchin plans to hold a closed-door meeting at the state Capitol this hour "on the future of coal in West Virginia with government, industry and labor representatives," The Associated Press and others report.

(Update: AP covered the press briefing that followed, as did The Charleston Gazette, MetroNews (with audio), Public Broadcasting, the Charleston Daily Mail, WOWK-TV (with video) and The State Journal.)

The carboncentric confab "was requested by county commissioners from Boone, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan and Mingo counties who are worried about how proposed federal actions could affect coal revenues," Manchin spokesman Matt Turner tells AP.

Attendees could include coal company CEOs, industry lobbyists and members of West Virginia's congressional delegation. The Gazette has details.

In advance of the meeting, environmental groups told AP they should have been offered a seat at the table.

"Neither the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition nor Coal River Mountain Watch plans to protest Tuesday's meeting in Charleston," that article said. "But both say it proves the coal industry's needs are more important than those of citizens."

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