Gov. John Dalton and the Virginia Port Authority will talk Tuesday about the coal crisis in the port of Hampton Roads, even though some expected high-level guests won't be here.
The VPA said Friday that the get-together with the governor will be held, a day later than planned, despite the absence of President Carter's Coal Task Force.
Original plans called for the presidential task force to get the red-carpet treatment, including a tour of Hampton Roads ports, while hearing Virginia's case for dredging the port.
Dalton and the VPA were to try to sell the task force members on the idea that Hampton Roads will be the best site for the dredging project, which will cost from $100 million to $500 million.
The task force is to recommend to Carter in December which port it thinks will be the most logical, cost-effective one to dredge.
Its decision is of importance to Hampton Roads because the chosen port will be able to accommodate super-colliers and thus most probably will become the nation's dominant coal-exporting port.
Although the presidential task force had been expected to meet with Dalton and VPA on Monday, Dalton's office announced last Thursday that the task force wasn't coming after all.
A spokesman for the task force called the VPA's assumption "a human mistake" and said its members never accepted the invitation to come to Hampton Roads. However, said the task force's executive director, Bernhardt K. Wruble, it may visit Hampton Roads sometime before December.
Meanwhile, a group of visiting Japanese coal customers last week warned that unless delays in Hampton Roads are eliminated and American coal becomes more competitive, they will shy away from it.