Last month, two seemingly disparate events showed how some in the President Donald Trump administration are holding fast to promises and principles. Both events encouraged a respect for state partnership and the welfare of coal communities.

The first event was a subdued birthday party at the Department of the Interior, where the Office of Surface Mining and Regulatory Enforcement (OSM) observed its 40th anniversary. Recall that Congress passed OSM’s authorizing law, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), in 1977, directing the agency to strike “a balance between protection of the environment … and the nation’s need for coal …”

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