I think they appreciate that; our modern mining industry sometimes faces a lot of anti-mining bias based on things that were done in the past.

We're not sitting on our hands waiting for someone to hand us money. With smaller watershed groups and state and local government being open to new ideas, our job is to see that other solutions are being put into practice.

We don't want to order these companies to spend $100,000 on something that's going to be obsolete before it's paid for.

Everyone said there's nothing you can do about it. Now people are finding out you can.

The state is focused on cleaning up this huge, historic mess. We don't believe we're asking for anything extravagant (from the federal government) to do it.

We need something that's going to work for the Appalachian states; any place there was mining before the 1970s, there's a real need for reclamation. And that money still only cleans up higher-priority sites; it doesn't even touch on all the non-coal quarries in need of reclamation.

If you try to undertake what is a $5 billion problem here on a month-to-month basis, it's going to take a long, long time at that rate to see significant results. It's important to us to know how much we're getting and for how long.

For a long time, the entire nation depended on coal, limestone, iron ore and steel from Pennsylvania. It helped win the Revolutionary War, it built railroads that opened the West and rebuilt Europe after two world wars. Our take on this is that this is not Pennsylvania's abandoned mine problem, it's America's problem.

What we want is to find a more permanent arrangement, a long-term reauthorization (of the fund) that meets the needs of a state with our mining history.