Beto O’Rourke on Friday told voters in southern Virginia that lost coal jobs were not coming back.
O’Rourke said that the community should take the lead on solutions to lost coal jobs “that are never going to come back.”
“We should be very clear about [it], we’ve looked at the numbers and seen the decline well before the Obama administration, continuing through that one and into this one as well, let’s be honest that they are not coming back,” he claimed.
The former Congressman met with rural Virginians at a Restaurant in Bland County as part of his ongoing effort to reboot his sagging campaign for president.
O’Rourke told voters that it was time to end fossil fuels as a source of energy.
“We absolutely, as quickly as possible, have to fully transition into renewable energy,” he said.
He told the voters about his future plan to reduce fossil fuels to reach a “zero-emissions” economy in 2050 through investments in clean energy technology.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we also found the entrepreneurs who are going to lead those businesses right here in this area?” he asked.
President Donald Trump won rural areas in Appalachia by defending coal jobs, promising to end Obama-era regulations that were hurting the industry.
“We’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal,” Trump said during a rally in West Virginia in 2018.