HE BECAME A REPUBLICAN, NOT A CONSERVATIVE: West Virginia Gov. Justice Asks Trump for $4.5 Billion to Save Eastern Coal.

The governor, who days ago switched parties to Republican from Democrat, said in an telephone interview Wednesday that Mr. Trump’s elimination of burdensome regulations have been very helpful in starting to get the U.S. coal industry back on its feet. But he said Appalachian region coal mines specifically—and the thousands of jobs they provide—remain at risk because of rising competition from natural gas and less-labor-intensive coal mines in Western states such as Wyoming, the nation’s leading coal producer.

If the Eastern coalfields were to disappear altogether, he said, then any disruption to the power grid in the East because of terrorism or other reasons could lead to tragedy because there would no longer be a nearby, abundant and easily-accessible energy source.

“The survivability of the Eastern coalfields is very, very iffy,” he said. “And if you lose the Eastern coalfields, you are putting the country at risk beyond belief.” He insisted his funding proposal isn’t for a subsidy, but rather a “homeland security incentive.”

That’s almost always the excuse.