(Climate pact) Don't blame coal, says West Virginia trader

Friday, June 02, 2017

In West Virginia's coal country, Tod Tuttle, the co-owner of a small roadside grocery store near two mines, applauded Donald Trump for what he'd done for the local industry. 

"Under Obama our business was lacking big time. Trump's taken over and we've come back around,'' Tuttle said. "A lot of places here have come back around.'' 

West Virginia has had an uptick in coal production late last year and so far this year, attributed by industry officials to higher market prices and increased demand for metallurgical coal. Tuttle credits Trump. 

"When the mines are working it's booming like crazy,'' he said. "When the mines are down ... our business was just trickling.'' 

About the Paris agreement, he said that issue isn't really with coal itself, which is still needed for reliable electrical generation without outages. 

"You can burn the coal, and if these companies do it right,'' Tuttle said. "They always blame the coal mines. It's not the coal mines. It's the electric plants themselves.''-AP