WV Gov. Justice seeks $4.5 billion in federal funds for coal-fired power plants

Published: Aug. 11, 2017 at 11:41 AM EDT
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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is asking for $4.5 billion in federal funds for power plants that use coal mined in the Appalachian region to generate electricity.

Governor Justice's plan, which he has discussed with President Donald Trump, would create a Department of Homeland Security initiative with federal funding of $4.5 billion annually to guarantee that coal mined in Northern and Central Appalachia would be available to keep the power grid operational in case of any emergency shutdown of natural gas pipelines or power plants using natural gas or coal produced in other areas of the U.S..

In a statement on the plan, Gov. Justice said,

"Keeping our Eastern coalfields and our miners working is critical to national security. All it is going to take to shut the power grid down to the entire Eastern half of the country is a bomb being placed at a key natural gas pipeline or on a major highway artery to the West. Chaos would ensue, just look at the mayhem that took place in New York a few years back when the grid shutdown for a night. Think about what would happen if the power grid was shutdown for 60 to 90 days in the dead of winter. We could lose hundreds of thousands of people."

Gov. Justice added,

"When the power grid gets compromised the coal from Appalachia can be trucked to our power plants so they can be put back on line as quickly as possible. If we don't do this and protect our Eastern coalfields we will be putting the country at great risk. We should not be willing to gamble and roll that dice, I'm not. In the world we live in today, unfortunately, what I'm talking about here isn't far-fetched, people need to awaken to what could happen. It's a matter of being prepared."