The US Coal Association launched a $US5 million public education campaign centred entirely in the state of West Virginia, the largest single coal-producing state in the country.
The primary objective of the Coal Association initiative is to position coal as the energy source of choice for West Virginians. It is hoped this will make it publicly and politically more palatable for politicians to support policies favorable to the industry.
In addition, the Coal Association hopes to reinforce its product's central role in West Virginia's economy.
In recent years, America's reliance on coal as a source of energy has faced serious challenges from environmentalists and greenies. True, coal is a non-renewable resource. True, burning coal does contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. However, there is no readily available and cost-effective alternative. Until now coal mining companies took that as read.
In Australia various initiatives are already well underway, such as ACARP’s (Australian Coal Association Research Program) sustainability initiative, which aims to promote the role of coal in the transition to sustainable development.