Rep. Kelly Praises President Trump for Ending Obama-Era War on Coal

Mar 28, 2017 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Energy

“A long-awaited victory for American jobs and livelihoods”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today regarding the executive order signed by President Donald Trump this afternoon to eliminate overreaching federal regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Obama administration which put U.S. job creation and economic growth at risk.

“Today’s action by President Trump is a long-awaited victory for American jobs and livelihoods, and a promising sign for energy independence. The reckless war on coal carried out by the last administration is now over. No longer will a rigid ideology be put ahead of our nation’s workers and prosperity. Just as President Obama kept his promise to hurt coal and those who use it, President Trump is keeping his promise to put our economy first and I commend him for it.

“In Pennsylvania alone, coal is responsible for roughly 40,000 jobs and 40 percent of our electric power. The Associated Press rightly calls it ‘the workhorse of the US power system.’ For too long the federal government has cruelly disregarded the needs of workers, families, and seniors – in Western Pennsylvania and across America – who rely on coal's benefits and have felt the pain of the EPA’s costly overreach. Those days are thankfully over.

“I believe we can ensure clean air and clean water without leaving Americans jobless and our economy weaker. I agree with the White House that the best way to protect our environment is to have robust and dynamic economic growth. A safe environment and a strong economy should not be mutually exclusive. With today’s fresh start, both goals can be achieved.”

BACKGROUND: Over the last two congresses, Rep. Kelly was the original sponsor of the Coal Country Protection Act, which would have halted any new regulation or guidance by the EPA to limit carbon emissions from new or existing power plants until specific criteria were met. (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was the original sponsor in the U.S. Senate.)

On August 4, 2014, Rep. Kelly authored a guest op-ed for The Wall Street Journal on the economic danger of the EPA's anti-coal regulations under President Obama titled, “Pushing Back Against Obama's War on Coal.”

On July 29, 2014, Rep. Kelly formally invited President Obama to visit a coal mine in Western Pennsylvania. The visit would have been personally arranged by Rep. Kelly and was designed to give the president an opportunity to meet the workers whose jobs were most directly threatened by the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Rep. Kelly is a member of the Congressional Coal Caucus. On October 29, 2013, he delivered a memorable address at the National Mining Association’s “Rally for American Energy Jobs” on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol which can be viewed here.