HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Leaders in the coal industry gathered Tuesday to discuss what they refer to as the possible death of the coal industry -- greenhouse gas regulation, according to Nick Carter, chief operating officer of Natural Resource Partners.
Nearly 100 people attended Tuesday's Ninth Annual Energy and Natural Resource Symposium to discuss what Carter says is an attack by the government to put coal companies out of business. It took place at the St. Mary's Center for Education in Huntington.
It's clear that battle lines have been drawn, and the war between the coal industry and clean air legislation is burning.
Robert Duncan, president and CEO for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, spoke about the importance of coal to the entire Appalachian region.
"We are under attack," Duncan said. "The fact that we need better regulations to produce new coal plants in the country. Also we need to preserve the existing coal plants but that coal has a future in the country."
More than 800 Kentucky coal miners have lost their jobs in the last two months, which has an impact on local businesses and communities, according to Duncan. He says if the government will allow it, new plats will be built and coal burning will continue.
On the other side of the battle line, about a dozen protesters stood outside carrying their message that the coal industry is destroying the health of Americans.