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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Coal Forum is applauding the new attitude towards the coal industry coming from Washington.

President Donald J. Trump signed a congressional resolution of disapproval on Feb. 16, overturning the U.S. Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation’s Stream Protection Rule (SPR). This rule, which was released just before the new year, would have made as much as 70 percent of Americas coal reserves impossible to mine. The rule was touted as one to protect streams, but the true impact on waterways would have been negligible while the rule curtailed underground coal mining was curtailed to a great degree.

“The West Virginia Coal Forum is encouraged by the quick action Congress has taken to remove ill-advised rules that would have decimated coal mining in America, particularly in West Virginia,” said Coal Forum Co-chairman Chris Hamilton. “We are cautiously optimistic that the new Congress and administration will continue to make decisions that will help West Virginia’s coal industry rebound.”

The Coal Forum is an organization representing business and labor in West Virginia’s coal industry.

Hamilton said miners all over West Virginia cheered when news spread that Trump signed the resolution to turn back the SPR.

“Our people have needed some good news out of Washington, and this week, they got it,” he said. “We look forward to working with the new administration on policies that will promote responsible coal mining.”