Trump official tells coal group he’s ‘an advocate for the coal industry’

Trump official tells coal group he’s ‘an advocate for the coal industry’
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A senior Trump administration official in the Energy Department told a coal industry gathering Wednesday that he aims to be a strong advocate for coal.

“The good news is I'm with the federal government and I'm here to help,” Doug Matheney, a special adviser in the Energy Department’s Office of Fossil Energy, said at the West Virginia Mining Symposium, according to S&P Global.

“I went to Washington, D.C., for one purpose and that was to help create coal jobs in the United States. That's my total purpose for being there,” he said. “I’m not a researcher, I'm not a scientist, I'm an advocate for the coal industry.”

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Matheney, who once worked for the industry-backed Count on Coal initiative, told attendees that he hoped to continue Trump’s aggressive deregulatory agenda.

He also said that the Energy Department is working on a new plan to boost coal as a replacement to the failed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposal to require higher electricity payments to coal and nuclear power plants.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE has frequently promised throughout his presidential campaign and since taking office that he would boost the coal industry.

He declared at his first State of the Union address Tuesday that his administration has “ended the war on clean, beautiful coal.”

United States coal production ticked up last year, due almost entirely to foreign demand growth.