A fifth-generation coal miner from Virginia has spoken out against President Donald Trump’s rhetoric surrounding the coal mining industry, saying the President is making “false promises that are only going to line the pockets of coal executives.”
In a New York Times op-ed video published Tuesday, Nick Mullins, a ninth-generation Appalachian from Virginia, said that if Trump wants to help the Appalachian mining communities that support him, “lowering emission standards is not the way to do it.”
At this year’s State of the Union address, Trump talked about ending “the war on beautiful, clean coal.” Mullins says “coal cannot be clean,” and that miners know firsthand.
“We have to realize that the environmental impacts of the industry aren’t a partisan issue,” he said. “They’re a matter of life or death.”
On Tuesday, the newly proposed Affordable Clean Energy Rule was announced, which would allow states to set their own emission standards for coal-fueled power plants.
Throughout his campaign and presidency, Trump has lauded his plan to replace the Obama administration’s climate change policies with rules and regulations that would be more friendly toward the coal industry. The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan made greenhouse gas emissions federally regulated for the first time.