West Virginia Leaders Call for a Future Past Coal

first_imgWest Virginia Leaders Call for a Future Past Coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Taylor Kuykendall for SNL:West Virginia University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joyce McConnell says the university has a moral obligation to investigate the potential for an economic future in West Virginia that could include less coal.McConnell spoke April 8 at the fifth annual National Energy Conference, hosted by the West Virginia University College of Law, which examined the downward trends in the state’s beleaguered coal industry and looked to the future of what could be done.McConnell said the writing that West Virginia’s economy needs diversification have been on the wall for a while. “We are witness to a collapse of an economy,” McConnell said.John Deskins, director of WVU’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, said, “We have some counties that are in a Great Depression,” noting some counties have lost one-third of their jobs.He said pinning hopes on abolishing U.S. EPA rules is an ineffective solution to the problem of southern West Virginia’s coal demand due to a storm of factors including low natural gas prices, anemic international demand and geologic challenges in the region.Charles Patton, president and COO of Appalachian Power Co., a subsidiary of American Electric Power Co. Inc., said he thinks it is essentially a given there will be carbon dioxide regulations of some sort in the future.Showing a slide that projects a rapid expansion into renewables, Patton said five or six years ago he would not believe that was the sort of direction the company would move toward as quickly as it has.“We’ll continue to operate our coal fleet until about 2040,” Patton said. “The output from those plants is going to be significantly less.”Full article ($): WVU: School has moral obligation to aid state in moving beyond coallast_img

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