Not neccessarily. It all depends upon whether the miners of WV prefer the jobs that would be created by relaxing the regulations to the health they would would gain by keeping them. In 2000, they seemed to prefer the promise of jobs due to less regulation that Bush favorred, but who knows now. Unfortunately, high-sulfur Appalachian coal is at a competetive diasadvantage to low-sulfur coal, so because we want cleaner air (and rightfully so IMO) the Appalachian coal mines are slumping and this measure won''t affect the underlying problems that are causing mines there to close, but it will stimulate the mines in the short term.
There's a difference between enviromental
regulation and safety
regulation... people in mining communities generally don't like the former, but are (not suprisingly) in favour of latter...
This news moves WV from Kerry-S[light]F[avourite] to Kerry M[arginal], IMO.
As far as the future of the coal industry goes, I think that there should be attempts to increase the number of miners and mines, while decreasing the amount of coal being produced.
I also think that all Appalachian mines should be made into worker co-operatives (ala Tower Colliery in South Wales) and become community driven not profits driven.