These are exciting times! In September the MINExpo INTERNATIONAL® 2004 Show will be held in Las Vegas. 
    This event, which occurs every four years, is expected to have nearly 1,300 exhibitors with the latest in equipment, products, and services for mining and coal processing, metals and industrial minerals.         

    The show is the world’s largest and most comprehensive exposition for the mining industry. 
Coal operators will have the opportunity to preview and purchase the latest state-of-the-art equipment and services to increase productivity and reduce costs and to speak directly with the manufacturers and service providers. Equipment manufacturers and service providers will spend millions of dollars on their displays at the 2004 show. 
    Like the Academy Awards, you never know who you might see while perusing the MINExpo INTERNATIONAL® 2004. 
    The coal industry is certainly well positioned to maintain its prominence, as a major contributor to the nation’s energy needs. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) U.S. coal production is projected to increase at an average rate of 1.5 percent per year, from 1,105 million short tons in 2002 to 1,543 million short tons in 2025. Projected production in 2025 is 438 million short tons higher than in 2003 because of a substantial increase in projected coal demand for electricity generation resulting from a shortage of natural gas. 
    “ The electric power sector is expected to show steady gains this year and next (1.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively)”, says EIA. High spot prices for coal reflect the impact of economic recovery coupled with current supply constraints. 
    Innovative technologies can make the future production and use of coal more efficient and environmentally cleaner. The U. S. Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy program is developing a full array of new technologies that can overcome the environmental challenges of using coal and extract clean-burning hydrogen from fossil fuels. In addition, the Office of Fossil Energy supports several initiatives to develop from hydrogen and cleaner burning coal.
    Coal is well positioned to assist in the establishment of America’s permanent energy security. It is in this country’s best interest for the U. S. to become less dependent on foreign sources of energy. We are literally sitting on the resources that can make this country energy independent. America’s most abundant natural resource is COAL.

Kevin Crutchfield, Chair    

Eastern Coal Council 



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