"OSM Study Projects Job Losses, Environmental Benefits"

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Department of Interior study of potential new restrictions on surface coal mining outlines projected production shifts and job losses as well as estimated environmental benefits of tougher regulations, according to a draft report obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Yearly Appalachian coal production would drop by 13 percent over the next decade, but annual impacts to streams and the land would be cut by 20 percent, under Interior's preferred version of a new stream protection rule outlined in the draft report.

Nationwide coal production would increase slightly, but roughly 7,000 mining jobs would disappear -- mostly in the Appalachian coalfields -- if the Interior Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement's preferred changes were adopted, according to the report."

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette February 2, 2011.

Source: Charleston Gazette, 02/03/2011