MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the Longview Power Plant near Morgantown proves you can burn coal cleanly. Perry, who toured the Maidsville plant Thursday, says his boss–President Donald Trump agrees.

“He intuitively understood something–that coal can be used in a responsible way, in an economically powerful way and in a way that makes America more secure,” Perry said.

Perry was joined on the tour by U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito along with First District Congressman David McKinley.

Perry, a former governor of Texas, said he could help but think about coal mining jobs as he toured Longview.

“The men and women whose jobs are connected directly to this planet, don’t ever forget them,” Perry said. “I think that’s what’s President Trump was talking about when he was discussing the coal and getting the coal industry back.”

Perry also criticized the Obama administration’s stance on coal.

“Of all of the energy resources, including renewable, is important for this country- but picking and choosing a few that fit your political agenda is not good for America,” Perry said. “The last eight years we’ve seen an administration to affect the power portfolio of America. Those days are over.”

Manchin said it is crucial to educate Americans on where their energy is coming from.

“There’s so many people who turn their lights on that don’t know where it comes from,” he said. “The President understands it, he has been very supportive of having an all energy policy. We get it, and together we can make things happen. We want a balance between the economy and the environment.”

Perry said touring Longview Power was just the start on educating Americans on coal. He also toured the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Morgantown Thursday afternoon.

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