The Pennsylvania Anthracite Council will celebrate 25 years of service to the anthracite industry at its Fall meeting on Thursday, October 3rd.
The organization was officially established in August of 1994. The PAC was organized to “advance anthracite and related industries within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to encourage education about anthracite, promote environmentally responsible extraction of anthracite, to promote the use of anthracite in both foreign and domestic markets and to assist meeting this country’s energy, economic and environmental needs.”
Brian Rich, President of Reading Anthracite, served as the organization’s first chairman and was a major driving force behind establishing the organization. Dan Blaschak, Blaschak Coal, served as Vice-Chairman, Lou Pagnotti III ; Jeddo Coal served as Secretary and Gary Scheib of the Independent Miners & Affiliates was the organization’s Treasurer.
Other early leaders included: Bob Burns; Girardville Coal, George Elias;Garrett Group, Tom Koons; Cleveland Brothers Equipment, Dan Nester; Kobin Coal and Job Suender; Gale Mining Company.
During the 1990’s, the PAC found itself fighting an onslaught of local and regional coal conversion projects as traditional anthracite burning facilities converted to natural gas.
The PAC actively opposed conversions at places like the Tobyhanna Army Depot, Kutztown University, Camp Hill State Prison and local school districts like Mt. Carmel and Minersville. While the organization was able to slow a number of conversions, one by one we watched as numerous coal burning facilities were converted to natural gas.
However, over the past 25 years, the PAC has enjoyed a number of legislative successes. In the mid-90’s the PAC was successful in amending legislation allowing for increased weight limits on hauling raw coal within a limited parameter of a coal breaker.
Also, at the request of the anthracite industry, Sen. Dave Argall was successful in amending Pennsylvania law to require state agencies planning to convert a coal burning facility to another fuel to advertise their intent in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Prior to this, an agency facility could be converted without any form of public comment or input.
Finally, in 2012, the PAC in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance and Rep. Mike Tobash was able to pass a major piece of legislation creating the Land Reclamation Financial Guarantee program granting coal mine operators access to nearly $100 million in mining surety funding. Today, the program has underwritten more than $45 million in financial guarantees.
The PAC 25th Anniversary meeting will be hosted on Thursday, October 3, 2019 at Capriotti’s Banquet facility in McAdoo. PAC members are encouraged to also invite employees and their spouses or significant others to join us for this special evening and celebration.Go back to previous page