Ex-Coal Industry Workers React to Justice and Trump Coal Conversation


The future of clean coal in West Virginia was recently discussed between President elect, Donald Trump and West Virginia Governor elect, Jim Justice. 

Former coal industry workers are now feeling optimistic about the promise of getting their jobs back. 

David Barker and Howard Smerecansky, Valley College HVAC students, have recently made career changes. Although both say they would return to their jobs in coal if somehow the industry could make a come back. 

The two were laid off near the start of spring. 

“It was good benefits, the health benefits, the monetary benefits, two people working in the household,”  Barker said. “It was good money.”

“I mean it was kinda sad, you know, just seeing this area financially devastated,” Smerecansky added.

But Barker and Smerecansky believe there is hope after tycoons, Donald Trump and Jim Justice were elected into office. President elect Trump and West Virginia governor elect Justice had a recent phone conversation about what could be done to bring back more clean coal jobs in the Mountain State. 

“I think it’s great for the state of West Virginia, actually if they can work together,” Barker said. “Because the Obama Administration and the Clinton Administration were going to shut coal down. And now he’s willing to work for it.”

Apart from coal, Justice told us Sunday he and Trump talked about federal relations and tourism among other topics in West Virginia. Justice stressed after that it’s important to support the leader of our country, regardless of personal political views. 

“It doesn’t matter, we have no choice,” Justice said Sunday. “President elect Trump is our president. And we’ve all got to get behind that effort and see that he does a great job, and help him do a great job.”

Follow Joe_Putrelo on Twitter. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.