By Nick Givas
Chris Hamilton, senior vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association, credited President Donald Trump with turning around the coal industry and celebrated the end of the Obama administration on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday.
“[Trump’s] almost single-handedly turned this industry around,” Hamilton said.
“We experienced perhaps the darkest days within the coal industry during the — President Obama’s eight years and as a result, we just saw nothing but the, you know, the type of consequences you find when you have a president utilizing every resource available to him to ratchet down and … do away with the coal industry.”
Hamilton claimed coal mining is on the rise and said the country can expect better steel production and access to quality electricity as a result.
“Mining has risen 20 percent or so maybe even a little higher. We are seeing miners go back to work that were previously furloughed a few new mines opening,” he said. “We have some of the highest quality of coal in West Virginia that you will find anywhere in the world. Not only for electricity generation, but also for steel manufacturing.”
Hamilton said his group is also challenging an Environment Protection Agency (EPA) study claiming there will be an additional 1,400 premature deaths by 2030, if coal production continues as scheduled.
“We absolutely want to take that on,” Hamilton said. “I think we have made tremendous gains. All the technological advancements you find around coal fired plants. We see a little bit of vapor and steam coming out of these plants. All airborne constituents have been eliminated. There has been tremendous progress made and that’s something that the utilities and industry works on on a daily basis. There is going to be additional gains made going forward on a regular basis. We challenge that study.”
Hamilton concluded by saying his group endorsed Republican Patrick Morrisey for Senate over Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, because Morrisey has done more for the coal industry.
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