Gov. Jim Justice’s mission to save the eastern coalfields and coal-fired power plants along the Eastern Seaboard, and put thousands of miners back to work while providing a critical step to bolstering national security and the power grid, moved forward on Friday following the announcement by President Donald J. Trump that he has ordered Energy Secretary
Rick Perry to take immediate action to stem coal and nuclear power plant closures. “I have been in constant dialogue and discussions for months with President Trump and Secretary Perry about this and we embrace this good news from the White House and the fact that the justice plan is now moving forward,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re not across the finish line yet but we embrace this good news and this certainly indicates that it is on its way.”
“President Trump is dedicated to our coal miners and putting them back to work and my plan has been clear from the beginning-we’ve got to preserve our eastern coalfields and save our coal-fired power plants, like the Pleasants Power station at Willow Island,” Gov. Justice added.
“The concept of my initial plan has been to pay an incentive payment to all of the Eastern utilities for each ton of Central and Northern Appalachian coal that they purchase. This Homeland Security incentive payment would cost our nation very little when you consider the security risk we would have if we lost our Eastern coal fields.
“If adopted, we would be ensured the security this nation deserves and put tens of thousands of West Virginia and surrounding states coal miners back to work.
“This has been one of my primary missions from Day 1. Coal fired our nation and deserves its place at the table. Simply put, we cannot do without coal in the foreseeable future.”