Coal, oil and gas industries to closely follow W.Va. legislative session

By Charles Young, The Exponent Telegram

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Representatives of the state’s most economically important industries will be closely following the work of the upcoming session of the West Virginia Legislature.

Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, and Charlie Burd, executive director of the West Virginia Independent Oil and Gas Association, both said they will be monitoring legislation relevant to their industries as the 60-day session progresses in Charleston.

Raney said his organization will continue to support legislation aimed at helping the state’s coal industry retain its current market share.

“We have hopefully some control of that market here in West Virginia. They use about 30 million tons of coal to make electricity here, and we want to do everything we can to make sure they continue to use that much coal — and that it is West Virginia coal,” he said. “We want to do everything that we can to help metallurgical coal producers to compete. That’s certainly much more of a world market.”

Revising the tax structure and permitting process for metallurgical coal producers could help them be more competitive on a global scale, Raney said. …

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