House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made clear Wednesday that, unlike President Trump, she doesn't dig coal.
“We're not gonna have a coal power plant floating around,” Pelosi said during a discussion about energy policy at the Public Policy Institute of California in San Francisco.
Her appearance coincided with the Trump administration’s rollback and replacement of Obama-era regulations on emissions from coal-fired power plants.
The newly unveiled Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule, as it’s called, would give authority to the states to set their own rules how to restrict carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.
“And it really is a moral issue if you believe as I do that this is God’s creation [and] we have to be good stewards of it,” Pelosi said.
“We have evangelicals and others with us — er, some, those who believe in God’s creation. So, in any case this was a big thing for us. I had to fight some Democrats. Senator Byrd had a coal powered plan fueling the Capitol, you know I [unintelligible] that’s gonna go, with all due respect to West Virginia we’re not gonna have a coal power plant floating around.”
But as Pelosi mocked West Virginia, many in the state celebrated the administration’s efforts to revitalize the industry.
“[Trump’s] almost single-handedly turned this industry around,” Chris Hamilton, senior vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said on "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday, noting the “the darkest days” for the industry are now over.
“We experienced perhaps the darkest days within the coal industry during the — President Obama’s eight years and as a result, we just saw nothing but the, you know, the type of consequences you find when you have a president utilizing every resource available to him to ratchet down and … do away with the coal industry, “ he added.
Bo Copley, a West Virginia coal worker who made headlines in 2016 when he confronted then-candidate Hillary Clinton with his family photo and asked about her plans to cut coal mining jobs, also praised Trump’s plans to ease the regulations and follow through his campaign promise to protect the industry and the jobs.
“It's great for us to be able to say we have someone who cares about the people in this state and cares about the people in our industry, that he's got our back,” he told Fox News on Monday, adding that the administration’s support for the industry is one of the reasons the state will continue to back him.