Op-Ed

Ky. House’s new majority is a real Friend of Coal

On Election Day, we in Kentucky were some of the most responsible individuals for ending the failed policies of the Democratic Party and voting in the first House Republican majority in nearly a century.

For far too long, coal country has been stifled by a federal government waging war not only against a vital industry, but against our way of life. Led by Speaker-elect Jeff Hoover, the new majority is committed to empowering our coal miners by reducing regulations, collaborating with the new administration and helping to create an atmosphere in which coal can thrive again.

While many straining regulations are handed down to coal country by the federal government, the new majority is dedicated to the reduction of red tape and ensuring the regulatory environment at the state level remains pro-coal.

I have come to know the new voices of Kentucky in Frankfort, and I can tell you firsthand that these men and women know our way of life and know what our miners need. They will be the strongest advocates for coal country in our state’s Capitol.

For the last eight years, we have dealt with a federal government that has unapologetically destroyed the coal industry. Essentially regulating coal companies out of business, we’ve seen a gross overreach from one of our greatest opponents, the Environmental Protection Agency.

However, with a new administration set to take place, Kentucky now has the chance to work with a federal government that understands the needs of the commonwealth. The new majority will be able to work with an administration that will listen to the voices of our miners, and we would be hard-pressed to find a better legislative body to directly advocate our needs to Washington.

Between the reduction of over-regulation and the ability to work with a new administration, the new majority will have great opportunities to help create an environment that can allow coal to thrive again.

It is imperative that our government does not unfairly pick and choose the winners and losers of the energy industry, and I am confident that this new majority will stand up to any such attempt. The new majority consists of our friends and neighbors, some of whom were once coal miners themselves, and who better to advocate for our way of life than the very people who have lived it?

I have every confidence that Hoover and the new majority will do right by the Kentucky coalfields. We have been an industry and a way of life that has been under serious attack for the past eight years.

On Election Day, we chose to stand up for ourselves and elect a new majority that is committed to our success. Their efforts will not only promote coal country, but ensure each of us has a better Kentucky to call home.

Nick Carter is interim president of the Kentucky Coal Association and has worked in the coal industry for 32 years.

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