Gene Kitts, Senior Vice President of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs at Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE: ANR), today presented at a symposium in Charleston, W. Va. hosted by the Appalachian Research Initiative for Environmental Science (ARIES) in cooperation with the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) .
ARIES is a consortium of top research universities, including Virginia Tech, West Virginia University, University of Pittsburgh, among others that leads objective and scientifically rigorous studies to better define the impacts of energy production on human health, socio-economics and overall quality of life. It also looks at how these resources may be used for the benefit of the nation and its economy while protecting the citizens and the environment in Appalachia. Alpha has no say in or control over the ARIES’ agenda or research.
The symposium, which takes place over the next three days at the Charleston Marriott, will unveil new research findings – many of them preliminary – related to energy exploration, environmental quality and remediation, and the impact of energy development on communities. This marks the halfway point in the planned five-year timetable for the ARIES initiative.
Kitts said, “Coal is a reliable and affordable source of power that brings many economic and social benefits to the world, the U.S. and Appalachia. The sustainability of our industry is paramount to our future success, and we have a shared interest with all our stakeholders to not only comply with but exceed what is required by our company. We are proud to support ARIES because achieving those goals starts with sound data based on a research-driven agenda, not agenda-driven research. These are complex issues, and with more research available we can seek out better solutions, make better decisions and create shared value.”
ARIES utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to research, bringing together social scientists, engineers, microbiologists and environmental experts to conduct the studies and develop recommendations.
It was founded in cooperation with industry partners, including Alpha, who are committed to the need to employ the best science to ensure the long-term health of the environment and communities throughout Appalachia, and the dissemination of the research results for the benefits of all stakeholders.