June 4, 2018 - The West Virginia Coal Forum is applauding plans from President Donald Trump and Governor Jim Justice to save West Virginia coal jobs by taking immediate steps to ensure the long-term operational viability of American coal-fired power plants.
“Without question, this is the best news in my 40-year career in the coal industry,” said Coal Forum Co-chairman Chris Hamilton. “It’s bigger than big. Never before in the history of mining has our state and federal political leadership been able to achieve the benefits to coal that are embodied in the Trump-Justice plan.”
The West Virginia Coal Forum is an organization representing business and labor in the coal industry.
On Friday, Trump announced his directive to U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take immediate steps to protect the viability of American coal-fired and nuclear-fired power plants. This action is being initiated under the Defense Production Act and the Federal Power Act, which protects power plants already investing in emissions control. These laws give the president powers to assure the nation can produce whatever resources are necessary in the time of national need.
Since taking office just a year and a half ago, Governor Jim Justice has been in near-constant dialogue with the Trump Administration to save the eastern coalfields and coal-fired power plants along the eastern seaboard and put thousands of miners back to work while providing a critical step to bolstering national security and the power grid. The president clearly agrees with Justice.
According to a statement issued by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Trump Administration has determined that coal-fired power plants are vital to the protection of the nation’s energy grid, and Secretary Perry is ordered to prepare immediate steps to stop the loss of these resources. Sanders said President Trump believes in total energy independence and dominance, and that “keeping America’s energy grid and infrastructure strong and secure protects our national security, public safety and economy from intentional attacks and natural disasters.”
“President Trump and Governor Justice clearly have been working together to restore coal jobs and shore up our national energy security. What began with an idea from Governor Justice has become a revolutionary national energy plan,” said Fred Tucker, Coal Forum co-chairman. “Coal remains our nation’s leading base fuel for securing states and countries all over the world with reliable electric power for households and industrial use.”
Hamilton and Tucker said West Virginia’s coal industry is forever indebted to Justice for his bold vision and leadership and to President Trump for his commitment to securing American coal jobs and energy independence.
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