The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors yesterday adopted a resolution to support the work and the mission of the Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security (FACES of Coal).
FACES of Coal is comprised of individuals and groups that have joined forces to educate lawmakers and the public about the importance of coal and coal mining to our local and national economies.
“Our country and our region depend upon coal,” said Charleston Chamber President Matt Ballard. “Coal is an abundant natural resource that allows our country to be less dependent on foreign sources of energy. Coal employs more than 6,000 West Virginians and it contributes nearly 14 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.
“The real story about coal needs to be told,” said Ballard. “The ‘FACES of Coal’ campaign is an effective way to present the facts to policy-makers and the public.”
In addition to supporting public education efforts, the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce is advocating for increased investment in research and development that will help the coal industry make the innovative changes necessary to remain successful in a changing world.
“Our region must continue to be a leader in advancing technologies that mine coal using safe and environmentally and economically responsible methods,” Ballard said.
Some 70 different organizations and individuals representing a broad cross-section of people and communities throughout the Appalachian region have joined FACES of Coal. The group’s website — www.facesofcoal.org — provides background information about coal and coal mining, as well as access to direct links to elected representatives in state capitals and in Washington, and the local news media.
The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce encourages area businesses and residents to become involved in FACES of Coal to help protect the jobs, taxes and business activity that come from a strong coal industry. The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce is the largest regional chamber of commerce in West Virginia. The policies of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce, a separate legal entity, are independent from its affiliate, the Charleston Area Alliance.