"MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — On his first official visit to this coal-seam state that voted overwhelmingly for Donald J. Trump, Energy Secretary Rick Perry praised the work of the scientists at a federal laboratory devoted to figuring out how to burn more coal with less pollution.
“You and your predecessors have really worked to change the world,” he told workers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory, one of 17 research facilities run by the Department of Energy. “What you do here matters.”
But in the Trump administration’s ideal economy, where the energy sector would be freed from regulatory mandates, international climate change obligations and environmental rules, what scientists at the West Virginia lab do would not matter very much. And that might explain why, despite his effusive praise, Mr. Perry has proposed to cut by 54 percent the budget of the Energy Department’s Office of Fossil Energy, which focuses on researching technologies to use coal, oil and natural gas more cleanly and safely."