Coal Forum Asks for Governor’s Intervention in Closure of Coal-Fired Power Plants

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Coal Forum, an organization representing both coal mine labor and management in the state, has called on Governor Tomblin to use his executive powers to “forestall the closures” of six in-state coal-fired power plants.

“We respectfully encourage you to use the executive powers of your office to forestall these closures so we might consider all relevant household, economic and employment factors surrounding these industrial facilities,” wrote Chris Hamilton and Fred Tucker, co-chairmen of the Coal Forum, in their letter. “We ask that the short- and long-term net effects and the delivery of reliable and affordable household electricity also be examined.

“We have been told that little can be done at this point, or that the ‘train has left the station.’ As such, decisions made unilaterally by parent utilities cannot be reversed; however, the decision forcing these facilities into premature shutdown results from unfavorable public policy driven by political agendas which hopefully will be revisited and reversed in the future.”

Hamilton and Tucker asked that the facilities be “maintained in a state of readiness as viable alternatives are sought as opposed to their mothballing and subsequent dismantling.”

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