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Politicians Visit Luzerne County Coal Mine

EBERVALE — Congressman Lou Barletta and Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry visited Jeddo Coal Mine Thursday. Jeddo Coal Company has more than 80 ye...

EBERVALE -- Congressman Lou Barletta and Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry visited Jeddo Coal Mine Thursday.

Jeddo Coal Company has more than 80 years of coal mining history in Luzerne County.

"There's plenty of coal here," coal miner Mike Aukstakalnis said. "It's a good, clean-burning fuel and there is no reason to disregard it as a good fuel source."

Even though the coal mining industry has taken a hit in recent years, there is renewed hope among the coal miners that it is coming back and will be better than ever. They said it is all thanks to President Donald Trump.

"It's our savior," coal miner Tom Polchin said. "Under the last administration, we probably all be close to out of work now."

Congressman Lou Barletta and Department of Energy Secretary Rick  Perry visited Jeddo to tour the facility and speak to the coal miners. They, too, said the coal industry will rise once again.

"I don't think we can overstate how important the development of rare earth minerals out of our anthracite coal and the potential that it is going to have," Secretary Perry said.

Coal miners here said its only a matter of time before the rest of the country will see the comeback of coal.

"We have a future," Polchin said. "Coal has been in the country for many years and it's one of the future with fossil fuels we can learn how to make it and burn it cleanly, we have a future."

Congressman Barletta and Secretary Perry toured the Jeddo Coal Company because it is taking part in a federally-funded pilot project. The goal is to see if enough valuable minerals can be extracted from coal waste to make the effort profitable.

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