WHEELING – Two members of West Virginia's congressional delegation praised President Donald Trump for the executive order that witnessed him sign that the president said is part of his administration's efforts to end the war on coal.
"These painful regulations were nothing but dangerous examples of executive overreach and a set of calculated attacks on the coal industry by the Obama administration," West Virginia 1st U.S. House District Rep. David B. McKinley said in a statement. "President Trump made a promise to put coal miners back to work and he is making good on that promise."
Trump's latest executive order ended regulations to provided little positive impact on the climate while decimating West Virginia’s economy, the congressman and Coal Caucus chairman said.
"The president’s action will provide relief to coal communities that have been under a bureaucratic assault from Washington over the last eight years," McKinley said. "The nightmare of the War on Coal is now officially over."
McKinley was among lawmakers, including West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, on hand when President Trump signed his "energy independence" executive order March 28 at the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency. The executive order rolls back Obama era regulations intended to curb carbon emissions in the U.S. In addition to Rep. McKinley and Sen. Capito, Trump was joined by Vice President Mike Pence, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke and Energy Department Secretary Rick Perry.
"My administration is putting an end to the war on coal," Trump said during his comments prior to the signing. "We're going to have clean coal, really clean coal. With today's executive action, I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations. And by the way, regulations not only in this industry but in every industry. We're doing them by the thousands, every industry. We're going to have safety, we're going to have clean water, we're going to have clean air, but so many are unnecessary and so many are job-killing. We're getting rid of the bad ones."
Trump's executive order is a sign the Republican president is keeping his promise to roll back overreach by the Obama Administration in its so-called Clean Power Plan, Sen. Capito said in her own statement released the same day. West Virginia is better off without that legislation, Capito said.
"If fully implemented, the Clean Power Plan would have completely decimated West Virginia’s vital coal industry while having no meaningful climate impact," Capito said. "Stopping this disastrous plan will preserve America’s coal industry, expand our manufacturing renaissance that is reliant upon affordable energy, and protect American families from unprecedented hikes in their electric bills."
There's more to come, Capito said. "I was honored to join the president for the signing of this executive order, and I look forward to continuing working with the Trump administration to advance environmentally responsible policies that grow the economy – not kill jobs," she said.