Manchin appoints Hunter to W.Va. Surface Mine Board

September 9, 2009 by Ken Ward Jr.

hunter.jpgLast week, I reported on Gov. Joe Manchin’s appointment of a former coal industry lobbyist to fill a seat on West Virginia’s Surface Mine Board reserved for someone who “represents the general public interest.”

At the time, Manchin had not yet filled another important vacancy on this supposedly “multi-interest” board — the one set aside for someone with “significant experience in the advocacy of environmental protection.”

That changed  late last week, when the governor named former state Sen. Jon Blair Hunter to fill the board vacancy created by the resignation of longtime Chairman Tom Michael.

Hunter, a Democrat, served three terms from Monongalia County and was considered a solid pro-environment vote. As Don Garvin, lead lobbyist for the West Virginia Environmental Council, recounted here, Hunter dared to take on the coal lobby by sponsoring legislation that would ban mountaintop removal coal mining. And during the 2008 session, Hunter engineered the unthinkable: A hearing before a West Virginia legislative committee that actually talked about the damaging environmental impacts of mountaintop removal.

6 Responses to “Manchin appoints Hunter to W.Va. Surface Mine Board”

  1. Clem Guttata says:

    Congratulations to Sen. Jon Blair Hunter. This is a great pick.

    Alas, Sen. Hunter still only casts one vote. I’m still scratching my head about the previous appointment. Out of the several hundred thousand W.Va. residents who could represent “the general public interest,” Gov. Manchin found one of the several hundred former coal lobbyists to be just the right guy. (And, as a previous commenter noted, when does the rest of the state who is not white guys get to see someone on one of these boards who looks like them.)

  2. Boone County says:

    Thank goodness. Hope he stays honest.

  3. Vickie says:

    OMIGOSH, I can’t believe it! Best news I’ve heard lately.

  4. Jim Sconyers says:

    I’ve worked with Jon before. Truly an honorable man of principle.

  5. JB says:

    Best choice our Governor could have made, Jon Blair Hunter is a man of integrity….now about that first choice, “general public interest” does not mean inviting the fox into the henhouse

  6. bo webb says:

    Thank you John Hunter for taking this appointment.

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