CONSOL Energy's Harvey Named Chairman

Retains Posts as President and CEO; Whitmire Becomes Vice Chairman

Baxter Becomes Lead Independent Director

Jun 29, 2010, 08:36 ET from CONSOL Energy Inc.

PITTSBURGH, June 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) announced today that J. Brett Harvey, the president and CEO of CONSOL Energy, has been appointed with the additional responsibilities as chairman of the board.  

With the change, John Whitmire, the current chairman, now becomes vice chairman of the board.

"I am very honored to be given this added responsibility, and for following John Whitmire, who has been chairman since CONSOL Energy first became a public company in 1999," said Brett Harvey.   "Under his leadership, CONSOL Energy realized a total shareholder return of approximately 616 percent, which illustrates the fine job he has done during his tenure on behalf of our shareholders.

"John and I have worked very closely together over the years, and as I take on the additional role of chairman, I expect that our close working relationship will continue."

In other action pertaining to the change, CONSOL Energy's Board of Directors also appointed Philip W. Baxter as the lead independent director.  Mr. Baxter has more than 30 years of energy industry experience.  William E. Davis, the chairman of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Board, said, "With Phil's service as a member of our Board and the board of directors of CNX Gas Corporation, our subsidiary, for the past 12 years collectively, he is ideally suited for the position of lead independent director."    

Mr. Harvey has been president and chief executive officer and a director of CONSOL Energy since January 1998.  With more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry, Mr. Harvey is especially qualified to understand the risks and leadership challenges facing a leading, diversified energy company like CONSOL Energy.  Mr. Harvey also brings substantial corporate governance expertise to the CONSOL Energy Board of Directors, which he has acquired through his years of service on multiple public company boards.  

About CONSOL Energy

CONSOL Energy, a high-Btu bituminous coal and natural gas company, is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 Equity Index and the Fortune 500. It was recently named one of the "Top 100 Most Trustworthy" companies for 2010 by Forbes. At year-end 2009, it had 11 bituminous coal mining complexes in six states and reports proven and probable coal reserves of 4.5 billion tons. It is also the leading Appalachian gas producer, with proved reserves of 2.9 trillion cubic feet. Additional information about CONSOL Energy can be found at its Web site: www.consolenergy.com.

For purposes of this press release, references to "CONSOL Energy," the "company,"  "we," "our," or "us" or similar words (other than the legal names of companies) shall include CONSOL Energy Inc. and its respective subsidiaries.

Forward-Looking Statements

Various statements in this document, including those that express a belief, expectation, or intention, as well as those that are not statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements (as defined in Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995). The forward-looking statements may include projections and estimates concerning the timing and success of specific projects, our future production, revenues, income and capital spending. When we use the words "believe," "intend," "expect," "may," "should," "anticipate," "could," "would," "will," "estimate," "plan," "predict," "project," or their negatives, or other similar expressions, the statements which include those words are usually forward-looking statements. When we describe strategy that involves risks or uncertainties, we are making forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this document speak only as of the date of this document; we disclaim any obligation to update these statements unless required by securities law, and we caution you not to rely on them unduly. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and assumptions about future events. While our management considers these expectations and assumptions to be reasonable, they are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, regulatory and other risks, contingencies and uncertainties, most of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control. These risks, uncertainties and contingencies include, but are not limited to: the weak economic conditions; an extended decline in prices we receive for our coal and gas affecting our operating results and cash flows; reliance on customers honoring existing contracts, extending existing contracts or entering into new long-term contracts for coal; reliance on major customers; our inability to collect payments from customers if their creditworthiness declines; the disruption of rail, barge and other systems that deliver our coal; a loss of our competitive position because of the competitive nature of the coal industry and the gas industry, or a loss of our competitive position because of overcapacity in these industries impairing our profitability; our inability to hire qualified people to meet replacement or expansion needs; coal users switching to other fuels in order to comply with various environmental standards related to coal combustion; the inability to produce a sufficient amount of coal to fulfill our customers' requirements which could result in our customers initiating claims against us; foreign currency fluctuations could adversely affect the competitiveness of our coal abroad; the risks inherent in coal mining being subject to unexpected disruptions, including geological conditions, equipment failure, timing of completion of significant construction or repair of equipment, fires, accidents and weather conditions which could impact financial results; increases in the price of commodities used in our mining operations could impact our cost of production; obtaining, maintaining, and renewing governmental permits and approvals for our operations; the effects of proposals to regulate greenhouse gas emissions; the effects of government regulation; the effects of stringent federal and state employee health and safety regulations; the effects of mine closing, reclamation and certain other liabilities; the effects of subsidence from longwall mining operations on surface structures, water supplies, streams and surface land; uncertainties in estimating our economically recoverable coal and gas reserves; the outcomes of various legal proceedings, which proceedings are more fully described in our reports filed under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; increased exposure to employee related long-term liabilities; minimum funding requirements by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (the Pension Act) coupled with the significant investment and plan asset losses suffered during the current economic decline has exposed us to making additional required cash contributions to fund the pension benefit plans which we sponsor and the multi-employer pension benefit plans in which we participate; lump sum payments made to retiring salaried employees pursuant to our defined benefit pension plan; our ability to comply with laws or regulations requiring that we obtain surety bonds for workers' compensation and other statutory requirements; acquisitions that we recently have made or may make in the future including the accuracy of our assessment of the acquired businesses and their risks, achieving any anticipated synergies, integrating the acquisitions and unanticipated changes that could affect assumptions we may have made; the anti-takeover effects of our rights plan could prevent a change of control; risks in exploring for and producing gas; new gas development projects and exploration for gas in areas where we have little or no proven gas reserves; the disruption of pipeline systems which deliver our gas; the availability of field services, equipment and personnel for drilling and producing gas; replacing our natural gas reserves which if not replaced will cause our gas reserves and gas production to decline; costs associated with perfecting title for gas rights in some of our properties;  location of a vast majority of our gas producing properties in three counties in southwestern Virginia, making us vulnerable to risks associated with having our gas production concentrated in one area; other persons could have ownership rights in our advanced gas extraction techniques which could force us to cease using those techniques or pay royalties; our ability to acquire water supplies needed for drilling, or our ability to dispose of water used or removed from strata at a reasonable cost and within applicable environmental rules; the coalbeds and other strata from which we produce methane gas frequently contain impurities that may hamper production; the enactment of Pennsylvania severance tax on natural gas may impact results of existing operations and impact the economic viability of exploiting new gas drilling and production opportunities in Pennsylvania; our hedging activities may prevent us from benefiting from price increases and may expose us to other risks; and other factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009 under "Risk Factors," as updated by any subsequent Form 10-Qs, which are on file at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SOURCE CONSOL Energy Inc.



RELATED LINKS

http://www.consolenergy.com