DMLR/DMME is not exactly the right state agency to ascertain the best economic path forward for the coalfields of far southwest Virginia.
Their experience has been vast as one of governing the extraction/economics of coal and reclamation for decades. Coal has been a mono economy that has not broadly benefited the citizens; instead, it has benefited mineral rights owners, most often located elsewhere. Destruction provided tax revenue for local governments through separation taxes and as you know, the industry has been the recipient of many tax incentives, etc. that did not benefit the public at large.
The southwest Virginia coalfields need some of the best economic minds in the country to aid in the growth of a truly diversified localized economy in order to facilitate economic transition and DMLR/DMME has neither that expertise or experience on its resume, to the best of my knowledge.