By Charlie Boothe
September 13, 2017 - The 22nd biennial Bluefield Coal Show at the Brushfork Armory officially kicked off with optimism this morning, welcoming 195 exhibitors to the “coal show for coal people” and to a renewed growth in the market.
“We have worked to make it a good show every year of the show,” said Charlie Peters, who has been general chairman of the event since its start in 1976.
Peters spoke at the traditional Media Appreciation Breakfast, held immediately before the ribbon-cutting to open the show.
Special guest speaker Hal Quinn, president and CEO of the National Mining Association, said the industry has been subject to “disabling” federal policies over the last eight years, but that has changed with a new administration in Washington.
“Recent federal policies under the last administration … with the regulatory burden penalized the coal industry and consumers,” he said. “Driving coal out of the market had little to do with emissions.”
All of the excessive regulations are now being reviewed and that has allowed optimism in the industry and the market place, he said.
“Coal is rebounding,” he said, citing statistics that show in an increase in the tonnage being produced and shipped overseas.
“It is providing some much needed stability that would have remained out of reach without some changes in Washington,” he said.
After the breakfast, Quinn participated in the ribbon-cutting in front of the armory to officially open the show as exhibitor after exhibitor lined the inside of the armory and the area outside the armory.
“This is a great show for the coal industry,” Quinn said.