CHARLESTON – U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins said he has invited Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to come to West Virginia to see the resurgence of the region’s coal mining industry after the Trump administration relaxed alleged damaging regulations enacted by the Obama administration.
“Congress and President Trump are working hand in hand to create jobs and opportunity in West Virginia,” Jenkins, a Republican, told The West Virginia Record.
Pruitt told Jenkins when the two met last week during a U.S. House Appropriations Committee hearing in the nation’s capital he would “absolutely” love to come, though no date for a visit has been set.
Pruitt, the 14th head administrator of the EPA, is a former lawyer and Republican politician from the state of Oklahoma. He took over as head of the EPA in 2017.
Jenkins represents the 3rd Congressional Dist. in the southern part of West Virginia including the state’s second largest city Huntington and the communities of Bluefield, Princeton and Beckley.
Jenkins said he invited Pruitt’s predecessor at the EPA Gina McCarthy to see the damage to the coal fields caused by the Obama Administration and its regulations on coal mining, but she declined the offer. McCarthy, a Democrat, was nominated by then-President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to head the EPA in 2013.
“Three years ago I invited McCarthy to West Virginia so she could see first-hand the devastation the EPA’s ideological agenda and overreach was having in West Virginia,” Jenkins said. “She never showed up.”
Jenkins said he extended the same invitation to Pruitt but for different reasons.
“I wanted him to see how his hard work and the Trump policies have helped West Virginia and brought back hope to the coal fields and stopped the drastic job loss that occurred under the previous (Obama) administration,” he said.