In what was a relatively tame defense of the state’s coal industry, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin proclaimed in his state address Wednesday night that the West Virginia coal industry will now serve new markets.
The announcement about plans to expand the coal industry came hours before a Freedom Industries chemical spill contaminated the drinking water of 200,000 people in nine counties with the compound 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol. The chemical company uses 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanolto treat coal impurities or the key ingredient in “clean coal.”
Although he talked less about the coal industry compared with past speeches, Gov. Tomblin still announced a commitment to keep the industry “alive and well.” He discussed exploring new markets including a Texas-based company investing a new plant in Jackson County, West Virginia.