This year should be a record year for coal production. The growing demand for energy continues to grow, and all reports indicate coal will play a major role in meeting these energy needs. 
    Coal plays a vital role in helping this country have a dependable, stable, and affordable fuel supply for electric power. Presently coal generates 52 percent of the nation's electricity. Coal is abundant and reliable and can increase its production to meet growing energy needs. 
World economies are looking to coal to help them meet their future energy needs also.
    Today the industry is facing a major shortage in the ability to attract young, new people into the industry. Governor Ernie Fletcher has taken the lead in working with the Kentucky Community Colleges in establishing the Kentucky Coal Academy. West Virginia is also setting up a training program for new workers. 
    The coal industry must continue working with MSHA and other agencies to insure the safety of our miners. We must dedicate ourselves to making sure everyone remembers “safety first”.
    The industry must continue to support and fund education programs. The true success of coal being the major player in providing energy is in our education programs. The public must be informed about the safety standards and the clean coal technologies being used in today’s mining. 



Kevin Crutchfield


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