W.Va. Lawmakers Focus on Coal Downturn

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia officials are hopeful that coal mining layoffs have eased this year.

The state's unemployment benefits program counted more than 4,700 mine workers filing initial claims earlier this year.

But program acting Executive Director Russell Fry says mining-related filings dropped to 2,500 last month.

Fry says that suggests the rest have gone back to work elsewhere. But he also notes the drop could reflect such other factors are retirements.

West Virginia is the nation's second-biggest coal producer. A downturn blamed partly on cheap natural gas has triggered mine shutdowns and layoffs.

Fry was among several speakers called Monday by a House-Senate committee studying coal's future in the state.

State Division of Energy Director John Herholdt told lawmakers the state has more than a century's worth of coal to mine.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 180862241 - wsaz.com/a?a=180862241