Coal industry and environmentalists dispute Trump energy vote


CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) — Many Democrats in Congress wanted to gut President Trump’s vision, which is known as the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule. The Trump policies loosened restrictions on coal-fired power plants and would have given them a longer period of time to better clean up their emissions. The effort to bring back the stricter Obama-era regulations failed on a Senate vote of 41 yes, to 53 no. Despite their political differences Senators Manchin and Capito both voted no.

“I am going to oppose this measure because I think that President Trump’s way of going about reasonable regulations makes good sense for our state,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, (R) West Virginia.

“Well, Trump’s energy plan really took us backwards. We really need to be looking towards a clean energy economy, with a just transition for coalfield communities,” said Gary Zuckett, Executive Director, West Virginia Citizens Action.

Environmentalists want more focus on clean energy sources like solar and wind. They also want new economic development in former coal communities. Industry leaders like those ideas too, but say the president’s proposed transition needs more time.

“You know it’s a more reasonable approach. It provides for full utilization of existing technologies and capabilities of these existing coal-fired plants to make further reductions in all airborne emissions, as well as carbon dioxides,” said Chris Hamilton, West Virginia Coal Association.

Environmentalists are planning to challenge the Trump energy policies in court.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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