There’s good news this month for West Virginia, the nation’s second largest coal producing state, with the passage of the Coal Truck Bill. This permits 120,000 lb. coal trucks on some West Virginia roads and recognizes but regulates the long standing practice of coal trucks hauling what used to be overweight loads.
The Coal Truck Bill will provide a much needed boost for the coal industry in southern West Virginia by removing some of the question marks regarding the future of coal trucking and giving greater stability to both coal producers and trucking companies.
All this has occurred just a few months after the introduction of the West Virginia Coal Association public relations campaign Friends of Coal. This is a grass roots effort to communicate clearly the benefits of the coal industry to West Virginians. Friends of Coal can also express the will of the people on all issues, not just issues of the coal industry.
Coal Leader applauds the efforts by the West Virginia Coal Association. The campaign Friends of Coal (see Coal Leader, pages 6 and 7) is a highly organized public relations campaign with former WVU coach Don Nehlen as its spokesperson.
There is no doubt that Friends of Coal has had a significant impact on the passage of the Coal Truck Bill and here lies a lesson to be learned by other coal producing states throughout the country. Coal continues to be the fuel of choice for the country’s electricity needs and coal provides much needed jobs and a positive financial contribution to the 26 states where coal is produced. We offer our congratulations to West Virginia and look forward to seeing similar efforts everywhere coal is mined and used. Coal’s impressive story of achievement and innovation must be told.
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