West Virginia gov says he and Trump discussed coal slump

FILE - In this March 26, 2013 file photo, a house-sized dump truck hauls dirt and rock at the Black Thunder coal mine in northeast Wyoming's Powder River Basin near Wright, Wyo. The Obama administration is halting new coal leases on federal lands until it completes a comprehensive review of fees charged to mining companies and coal mining's impact on the environment. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s incoming Democratic governor says he received a weekend phone call from Republican President-elect Donald to discuss how to revive the slumping coal industry.

Gov.-election Jim Justice said in a statement that the 15-minute call focused on how the two could cooperate in efforts to put miners back to work. It said Trump “made clear that he won’t forget about West Virginia when it comes to our nation’s energy policies.”

Justice didn’t immediately disclose any specific steps, and there was no immediate statement from Trump about the call.

Justice also asked both parties in West Virginia’s legislature to put aside partisan politics and work jointly on reviving a coal industry that shed thousands of jobs amid competition from low natural gas prices and ongoing pressures to cut smokestack emissions.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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