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Jenkins says "coal can be saved" after election of Donald Trump

U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., spoke with Eyewitness News Wednesday about a wide range of topics, including the future of coal. Watch the full interview by clicking play in the player above. (WCHS/WVAH)

U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., said President-elect Donald Trump presents a hopeful sign for coal.

Jenkins, who won re-election with 64 percent of the West Virginia 3rd District vote, said both Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence could help to save the industry.

“Absolutely coal can be saved,” Jenkins said. “And nothing can be better than electing Donald Trump, now our president elect. He and his Vice President (Mike) Pence spoke specifically about the future of coal.”

Responding to an opinion piece published Tuesday in the New York Times that claimed coal is not coming back, Jenkins said he “discounts” those who have predicted no future for the fossil fuel.

“I discount the New York Times in general and certainly any op-ed that suggest coal is dead,” Jenkins said. “There have been too many naysayers for far too long. We can bring coal back. I’m fighting for coal each and every day up here.”

Trump won eight of the top 10 coal-producing states, with the exception of Illinois and Colorado. Jenkins said Trump could help to eliminate some of the environmental regulations that Republicans and coal advocates have seen as being prohibitive to the industry.

“The future is bright,” Jenkins said. “We can turn back these job-killing regulations and we can do that immediately. We can unleash our economic, our energy potential in the United States for an all-the-above energy program.”

Jenkins spoke to Eyewitness News about a wide range of topics, including Trump’s transition team and the behavior of Trump protesters. Watch the full interview in the player above.

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