After eight years of President Obama’s adversarial relationship with coal, many are hoping for a resurgence of the industry under President-elect Donald Trump. West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney weighed in on Trump’s potential impact on the industry.
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Raney first discussed with the FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto the impact of President Obama’s policies on the coal industry.
“We have been targeted for the last eight years with a war on coal, literally. I mean, we have been under assault here. Everything that’s occurred Neil has been administrative in nature – it’s been regulations, it’s been rule, it’s been agency behavior, executive order.”
But, Raney was upbeat about the future of the industry after Trump’s election victory.
“We’re pleased that Donald Trump won the [the election] clearly because he came through here and certainly gave everyone a lot of hope that we’re going to see a different day as it regards to positive treatment of the coal industry.
Raney was hopeful that Trump would curb the job losses in the industry largely due to federal government policies.
“Our miners, we’ve lost about 8,000 jobs over the last eight years right here in West Virginia. And of course you multiply that by somewhere between, five is a good number to use, and you can use more if you’re close to the mining operations, but it’s very, very significant. And there is more hope here in West Virginia today than there has been for a long, long time.”
Raney then responded to concerns over Trump appearing to shift his tone over climate change and whether that may signal he won’t be as friendly to coal as he claimed to be during the campaign.
“Well, it gives you some concern, but I mean, you’ve got to think that humans had something to do with this [climate change], but there is no reason at all to punish the coal miners and the people here in Appalachia as has been done over the last eight years.”