While surrounded by coal-state lawmakers and coal miners, President Trump signed a bill this week that rolls back an environmental rule designed to protect streams from coal mining debris.
Miners wearing hard hats and overalls stood with politicians in suits during the bill signing at the Whitehouse. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, thanked the president for supporting the coal industry.
“The last eight years brought a depression to eastern Kentucky,” McConnell said. “And our folks are so excited to have a pro-coal president and we thank you so much for being on our side.”
West Virginia’s democratic senator Joe Manchin said coal miners there represent the economy and the environment, and a balance must be struck.
West Virginia’s republican senator Shelley Moore-Capito was also there. Afterwards in a release she said the President Trump “signaled an end to years of overregulation targeting the coal industry and vital jobs in West Virginia.”
The signed bill dismantles a Department of Interior regulation finalized just days before Trump took office.