The C.O.A. Program

C.O.A., as a trade organization, strives to represent its membership in as many areas as possible.


C.O.A. acts as a buffer between state and federal agencies and the coal industry. David Gooch, president, serves as the association's registered lobbyist in Frankfort, Kentucky, during sessions of the Kentucky General Assembly. With several years of government experience, as well as a major in political science at the University of Kentucky, Gooch is well qualified in this field. He maintains personal contact with members of the state legislature as well as the executive branch. Gooch also stays in contact with Kentucky's U.S. congressional delegation. If there is an issue that has the potential to impact coal, C.O.A.'s members will be represented.

Additionally, Charles Baird, C.O.A.'s chairman, is a well-respected attorney who specializes in coal issues. Baird devotes countless hours away from his law practice, at no charge, representing the association in Frankfort and Washington, D.C.

Both Gooch and Baird maintain excellent relations with the local field office personnel of various state and federal regulatory agencies. Whether it is an isolated problem affecting a single member or one, which affects all, C.O.A. is active in the needs of the membership.

While C.O.A. cannot, by virtue of law, represent an individual member in a legal matter, we do participate in many legal challenges on behalf of the entire membership. Most of these are joint efforts between C.O.A. and other regional, state or national associations.

One of C.O.A.'s priorities is to keep members informed about the issues. We accomplish this in several ways.

The C.O.A. News Letter is an in-house publication which features not only news of the association, but news and editorial comments on state and national issues. This is supplemented by specialized mailings regarding specific issues as the need arises. C.O.A. was the founding publisher of the COAL JOURNAL in 1975. C.O.A. remains active in providing material to the "voice of the coal industry." In 1992, C.O.A. re-acquired majority ownership in the paper.

C.O.A. also hosts a variety of seminars on topics such as environmental regulations, health and safety, transportation and other issues. These are often done in con-junction with other groups such as The Kentucky Coal Association, U.S. Bureau of Mines, MSHA, Kentucky Department of Mines and Minerals, The Federal Office of Surface Mining and the Kentucky Department of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.

C.O.A. hosts quarterly general membership meetings in which we recruit guest speakers from government, academia and the business community to address current issues of importance. Such speakers have included elected officials such as the Governor of Kentucky, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, and U.S. Representative Harold Rogers. MSHA's Davitt McAteer, government appointees from environmental, health and safety, tax and other agencies: noted authorities on issues such as Dr. Patrick Michaels, who spoke of the myths surrounding Acid Rain and Global Warming; and numerous others These meetings are designed to keep our members informed.

In addition, C.O.A.'s staff responds to numerous calls on a daily basis for information. C.O.A. will keep you informed.


C.O.A. is a strong advocate of public relations. "NO comment" as a response to a legitimate media inquiry is not acceptable. C.O.A.'s staff is continually being quoted in the print media or appearing on radio and television to tell coal's side of the story. We generate numerous news releases on positive accomplishments of the coal industry and tell "the rest of the story" on those issues perceived as negative.

Such efforts have helped produce a positive focus in the content of many news items regarding the coal industry. Because of C.O.A.'s commitment to keep the media informed on issues, a positive image has often been conveyed in what otherwise could have been adverse publicity.

C.O.A. is also a founding member of CEDAR (Coal Education Development and Resource Council), a program that takes coal to the classrooms in Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Knott and Martin Counties in Kentucky.

C.O.A. works with local civic organizations including three local chambers of commerce. We are members of the National Federation of Independent Businesses and serve in various other capacities with numerous organizations. This gives us a forum to present coal in its best light. C.O.A.'s staff speaks to various groups about the coal industry.

We continually explore ways to present a strong positive image for coal and our members, believing that no one can tell our story better than we can.


Coal Operators & Associates, Inc., has developed a comprehensive program of insurance benefits that are available to qualified members. The majority of our members participate in the insurance programs, providing their employees with benefits that might otherwise not be available.


As a full member in C.O.A., you and your employees may be eligible for our group health insurance. There are several levels of coverage from which to choose. Dental insurance rounds out a comprehensive health insurance program.


Qualified members and their employees can also take advantage of group term life insurance in amounts from $10,000 to $35,000. Available with this service is accidental death and dismemberment coverage as well as short-term disability insurance in varying increments.

Another service offered is catastrophic illness coverage, which is supplemental, and additional to any current health insurance you might have. This coverage is often referred to as a "cancer plan." but also covers numerous other situations, which can leave an individual or his family in poor financial condition in spite of health insurance.

1999 Coal Operators and Associates, Inc.
Last Updated 01/17/2000
Website designed and Maintained by Mining Internet Services, Inc.