U.S. Secretary of Energy visits WV, talks future of coal

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MAIDSVILLE, W.Va. (WDTV) - How many times have you heard that coal is dead in West Virginia?

It's no secret coal in the traditional sense has been on the decline

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry paid a visit to the Longview Power Plant in Monongalia County on Thursday. He was there to evaluate what the plant does and see what potentially the future of coal holds.

Longview prides itself in using advanced clean coal power technology. And they say they've greatly reduced emissions while being the example of how coal could be burned cheap and clean and used for electricity.

So is what Longview Power is doing, the future of coal in our state and maybe even the country?

"This technology, this ability to deliver a secure, an economical, an environmentally good, source of energy is really important," said Perry.

And with plants like these, many are concerned with how they impact the environment. West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) says she's seen first-hand how they make sure they're keeping emissions low.

"It's very low emission, highly efficient, but, what we learned, I think, is nobody is building these because the last eight years have been very tough for the coal business," said Capito.

And there's high hopes for coal's revival with President Trump in office. Many blame the Obama administration for keeping coal down. But, Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) says this should be a bipartisan effort.

"We, as representatives of West Virginia, work in bipartisan. We are all in energy policy. It should be. In West Virginia we want it all," said Manchin. "We want a balance between the economy and the environment. We're not going to throw caution to the wind. And we can do that. This plant shows you it can be done and done well."