If coal companies must stop using such mining methods as mountaintop removal and valley fills, a Nicholas County Commissioner said Friday, he wants to see airport construction, highway construction and superstore construction stopped, too.
Earlier this month, Spurgeon Hinkle and Commissioner Birl O'Dell signed a resolution supporting Alex Energy Inc. Commissioner Tom Blankenship did not sign the resolution.
At a commission meeting, Sam Kitts, president of Nicholas Energy, a subsidiary of A.T. Massey Coal Co., explained to commissioners that he wants to mine 1,200 acres outside Gilboa, along W.Va. 39, through another company called Alex Energy.
For now, though, the staff of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a general objection to the water permit for the operation.
"All I want is to look and be fair," Hinkle said.
The resolution states the commissioners will let the governor and the appropriate regulating agencies know that they support the mines.
Hinkle said the coal company is willing to invest $90 million in the operation without asking for state funds.
He pointed out that many other projects involving mountaintop removal and valley fills have included taxpayer dollars.
The mine would also employ more than 200 miners, he said.
Hinkle also spoke in Logan County a week ago in support of mountaintop removal.
"I'm on record," he said.