The West Virginia Coal Association is putting its weight behind Donald Trump
Members of the group, which represents companies in coal mining and related industries, voted Thursday to endorse the presumptive Republican nominee, days before West Virginia’s presidential primary.
“Trump has said he will reverse the Democratic regulatory assault that has cost the coal industry more than 40 percent of our production and jobs since 2008,” Bill Raney, the group’s president, said in a statement.
“In contrast, Hillary Clinton proposals essentially double-down on the job killing Obama policies,” he said. “West Virginia can’t afford that and neither can the nation.”
The coal group said it believes that with Trump in the White House and Republican Bill Cole as West Virginia’s governor, the state will be able to recover from President Obama’s “War on Coal.”
Coal has taken center stage in the run-up to West Virginia’s primary. The state has been hit particularly hard in recent years by the coal industry’s decline, which is due to a combination of factors like competition from natural gas and regulations.
Clinton is actively trying to shake off an anti-coal image, which she earned in part during a March event where she said she would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
Trump, meanwhile, has pledged that West Virginia’s coal industry would thrive under his presidency, although he has identified few policy changes that would enable that.
“We’re going to get those miners back to work,” he said at a recent event. “The miners in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, which was so great to me last week, and Ohio and all over, they’re going to start to work again. Believe me. You’re going to be proud again to be miners.”
Trump has pledged to review many of the regulations from Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency.