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West Virginia governor to host energy forum

MINE safety emergency rules will take centre stage at a forum scheduled for March 1 at the Charleston Civic Center in West Virginia.

Donna Schmidt
West Virginia governor to host energy forum

Originally scheduled for February 21, the event was postponed by its host, State Governor Joe Manchin, to allow new Mine Safety Health and Training director Jim Dean “time for transition,” according to the website of one sponsor, the National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE).

The forum’s topic has also been altered from original plans to discuss coal conversion technology. West Virginia Coal Association vice-president Chris Hamilton, who serves as co-chairman of the energy forum, said switching gears would allow guests the opportunity to discuss and learn about recently proposed regulation changes.

“We have experts coming who have the appropriate scientific and technical background to be able to speak on the various technologies [proposed in the rules] without necessarily promoting or advocating a certain brand,”

Energy Forum program coordinating committee member Kenny Dickens echoed the importance of the topic to the paper, saying that everyone has questions right now: “This will be the first public discussion of the rules, apart from what’s been in newspapers.”

The program will begin at 9am EST with opening remarks, followed by further explanation of Senate Bill 247 introduced by Manchin in late January. The main speakers for the morning will be Manchin, who will discuss state policy, and US Senator Robert Byrd, who will present federal policy issues.

Other important programs throughout the day include a panel discussion entitled How Do We Get Where We Need to Be, two presentations by representatives of the US Mine Safety and Health Administration on permissibility and communication technology, and a briefing on training resources.

Besides the NRCCE, other organisations rounding out the sponsorship of the event are the West Virginia Coal Forum, the US DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory, MSHA Approval and Certification Center, Marshall University Graduate School and the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.

For further information or to register, contact Lindagail Holst, (304) 558-1425, Peggy Andreas, (304) 293-2867 ext 5420, or go to www.nrcce.wvu.edu/energyforum.

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