"You can't find these sites readily, and I think there is a need for them," White said.
Monday's meeting was held under unusually tight security for such an event.
At least four State Police troopers, as well as private security guards, attended. In a meeting announcement, Marshall President Wade Gilley, chairman of the task force appointed by Gov. Cecil Underwood, told panel members, "We have arranged for security, including the State Police."
Jim Sconyers, a representative of the state Sierra Club, asked why those attending had to sign up and check off whether they were for or against mountaintop removal.
"That's so oversimplifying that it's ridiculous," Sconyers said. "It seems to fly in the face of democracy."
Logan County coal operator Rick Abraham, who brought a busload of miners to the meeting, agreed.
"I don't find the issue that simple," Abraham said. "Against what? For what? The mitigation bill or mining in general?"
Victoria Moore of Blair complained that her 8-year-old son, Dustin, had to sign in, agree to speak, and indicate where he stood on the issue to be able to sit with his mother.
Under Gilley's rules, only those speaking at the hearing were in the same cramped conference room as the task force members. Other spectators had to watch the hearing on closed-circuit television sets in other parts of the building.
The arrangement forced not only Dustin Moore, but 10-year-old Kayla Bragg, to address the task force.
Bragg told the miners at the hearing: "I'm not trying to take your jobs. I wouldn't do that. I'm a coal miner's daughter. I just know I don't want my home torn up."