Commonwealth Journal

Local News

January 7, 2014

Bissett tells Chamber coal is still in state’s future

Somerset — The president of Kentucky Coal Association (KCA), crediting coal with providing light and warmth in The Center for Rural Development on a frigid day; put a troubled but pretty face on Eastern Kentucky coal; placed KCA’s stamp of approval on U.S. Senator McConnell and counted the days until President Obama leaves office.

Speaking to the January membership meeting of Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, Bill Bissett declared: “We knew these lights would be on (in this building) ... that it would be warm. That’s what coal provides,” he assured.   

Bissett said coal generates more than 90 percent of Kentucky’s electricity and Kentucky benefits from affordable electricity. The average cost of electricity in Kentucky is 7.191 cents per kilowatt hour, one of the lowest rates in the United States, he noted.

“There is one word for coal – that is change,” said Bissett. “Coal is embracing that change but it does create concerns.”

According to Bissett, the coal industry has lost more than 6,000 direct jobs, and 18,000 people indirectly connected to the coal industry are out of work. Coal production in Eastern Kentucky is down 30 percent, Bissett said.

However, the KCA president pointed out that 40 million tons of coal were mined in Eastern Kentucky last year “ ... and that’s a lot of coal ... we need to remember that.”

“Is there a future for Kentucky coal?” Bissett asked. His answer was “yes:”

Bissett flashed photographs of McConnell, a Republican, and the U.S. Senator’s Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes. Bissett said Grimes has made statements appearing supportive of the coal industry “ ... but I believe she lacks ‘specificity’ to be a stronger supporter of coal than McConnell.”

He said McConnell has been a chief opponent of Obama, whom he says is trying to take away the international market for coal.

Coal will continue but it’s going to change,” Bissett concluded.

Text Only
Local News
News Live
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide