By DANYEL VANREENEN
CHARLESTON — Continuing to fight for an expanded coal economy and reduced opioid usage, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday to talk about West Virginia’s unique needs.
As part of the Winter Meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General, Morrisey visited the nation’s capital and the nation’s president.
During the meeting, Morrisey discussed efforts to reinvigorate coal mining and eradicate the state’s opioid drug epidemic with the President.
“It was a pleasure to meet with President Trump. His invitation and willingness to meet with myself and fellow state attorneys general demonstrates his respect for cooperative federalism and the role of states in the fabric of our nation,” Morrisey said. “I appreciated the chance to impress upon President Trump the importance of eradicating the nation’s opioid epidemic and rolling back unlawful regulations that have crippled coal mining communities in West Virginia — both issues that are critical to economic growth.”
According to Morrisey, he emphasized the need to rollback governmental regulations, including the Clean Power Plan, which he said crippled investment in coal.
In previous statements, Morrisey has said the state has the primacy of regulations of waterways, not the federal government. According to Morrisey, the Obama administration allowed the government to reach into areas traditionally left up to the state.
In regards to the Streams Protection Rule, Morrisey said it would have reduced or entirely eliminated mining in large parts of the state.
“I want to ensure water is the highest quality, but economic forces must be considered as well,” Morrisey said. “We can’t accept regulations to eliminate mining.”
Morrisey said he also discussed the need for a holistic approach to reduce the supply and demand of prescription opioids. Morrisey told Trump an educational component was necessary to fight opioid addiction as well to prevent future addiction.
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