Three former top state regulators, four legislators, a handful of business people and industry lobbyists, and one environmentalist will serve on a task force to examine mountaintop removal mining, Gov. Cecil Underwood said Friday.
Underwood named 16 members to serve on the group that will be chaired by Marshall University President J. Wade Gilley.
The list includes former top state regulators David Callaghan, Larry George and Ben Greene.
Callaghan, who served two stints as chief of state environmental agencies in the Rockefeller and Caperton administrations, is now an industry consultant.
George, a longtime top regulator, is now a private lawyer who represents coal companies.
Greene, who served as chief mining regulator before the 1977 federal strip mine law was passed, is now president of the West Virginia Mining and Reclamation Association, one of two coal industry lobby groups.
Others included Syd Peng, a West Virginia University professor who frequently testifies on behalf of coal companies in permit cases; Charles Jones, a Charleston businessman whose companies haul coal on river barges; and Mike Mace, who runs an environmental consulting firm in Madison.
Underwood also appointed Mike Whitt of the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority in Williamson and Shelly Huffman of the Lincoln County Economic Development Office in West Hamlin.