President Trump stumps through West Virginia, promises return soon

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CHARLESTON, WV -- President Donald Trump touches down in West Virginia. The president came to speak at a rally I downtown Charleston - with an aim of digging up new hope for the coal industry and keeping the GOP's hold on Washington.

Greeted by Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) and full-throated cheers - here in West Virginia, the president is more popular than in just about any other place in the nation.

The president promised a regulatory rollback - one he said will spark a brighter future for coal in West Virginia and the nation. Promises like Tuesday nights and those he made in 2016 on the campaign trail help keep the base energized.

"We love clean, beautiful West Virginia Coal," he said to applause early in his remarks.

By 2030, President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan aimed to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by more than 30 percent compared to 2005. But, pending court challenges blocked it from ever taking effect.

President Trump's plan calls for cutting emissions, but far less dramatically. States would have three years to come up with a plan and get it approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. While the president glossed over the details Tuesday night, his EPA Acting Director said by making regulation less burdensome, will cut costs for consumers, and spare the industry $400-million a year.

The president stayed focused on what those at the rally wanted to hear. "I know this doesn't matter to you," he joked, "but we are putting our great coal miners back to work."

Energy experts said they don't expect the state to impose new limits if the federal government steps back. But, they also said they don't expect a coal turnaround, arguing it's market forces -- like cheap natural gas -- that's burning the coal industry not regulation.

A recent study out of West Virginia University forecasts decline for the industry in the short and long-term. The experts said Tuesday's announcement is unlikely to change that.

Along with the announcement aimed at boosting coal, Donald Trump primarily came to West Virginia to promote a candidate - Republican State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Polling averages give incumbent former governor, and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin a seven-point lead over his challenger. Morrisey's camp hopes Tuesday's rally provides a 'Trump Bump'. The president also promised to come back again to stump for Morrisey ahead of November's general election.

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