U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out from the Paris climate change agreement has fueled some optimism in the West Virginia coal town of Mt. Storm, but some wonder if it's enough to boost coal. Nathan Frandino reports.
On the shores of Mt Storm Lake in West Virginia, the Mt. Storm Power Station is burning with optimism. Just days after U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement, coal industry workers here like Adam Tracey are rejoicing. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADAM TRACEY, COAL INDUSTRY ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIALIST, SAYING: "I think Trump's headed in the right direction with what he's doing. And you can tell. You can tell locally. You can tell within our company. You can tell rival companies. Everybody is optimistic right now. Hopefully it lasts." Trump vowed during his campaign to pull the U.S. out of the Paris deal, arguing it would cost the country trillions of dollars, kill jobs, and stymie economic growth without providing tangible benefit. Tracey agrees. He hopes the decision helps revive the coal industry. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADAM TRACEY, COAL INDUSTRY ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIALIST, SAYING: "I think by pulling out of it, you're going to see more, more coal companies have more confidence in the future of their company. They're going to put more money into it." But even in places like Mt Storm, coal is not necessarily king anymore. Dominion Energy, which owns the Mt Storm Power Station, is already investing in wind power, producing enough electricity to power 66,000 homes. Local Barbara Bish says it's a smart alternative to coal. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BARBARA BISH, COOK AT HELLBENDER BURRITOS, SAYING: "I've known a handful of people working with the turbines and they make good money doing that. And it's a lot safer, you can be up in the air looking down at everything instead of in this nasty stinking coal mine." West Virginia's entire congressional delegation supported Trump's decision, hoping it will eventually have a postiive impact on their districts... although that impact is likely years away.