Kentucky’s coal mines have been shut down for weeks after the state began cracking down on leaks and explosions.
But the mines reopened Friday.
The coal industry will resume operations as planned.
Matt Bevin said he is not calling a special session to pass a new bill to reopen the state’s coal industry.
But he is calling on the state legislature to convene to consider the idea.
“We need to get the ball rolling,” Bevin told reporters.
“This is something that is absolutely critical for our economy.”
“The state’s economy is already strong and we need to have the confidence that Kentucky’s economy can go forward and thrive in the 21st century,” he added.
Bevin has proposed a bill that would extend the coal industry’s operating hours.
The legislation, which would be voted on in the Kentucky House on Thursday, would provide the state with a one-time $2 billion budget to allow the state to hire more coal miners and help businesses recover from the shutdown.
Beesburg, Ky.-based company KXL Enterprises announced in October it was closing its coal mines in western Kentucky.
The company had planned to restart mines in the next two weeks.
Kentucky’s coal is used for steelmaking and other industries, but it is a byproduct of a process known as steam mining.
The industry is the largest source of U.S. emissions.
The mines closed are in Westmoreland County, Kentucky, about 30 miles southeast of Louisville.