- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Wednesday that he sees huge potential in turning the Appalachian region into a fossil fuel production site.

“We think there is an incredible potential in the Appalachian region to turn that area into an absolute job-creating giant,” Mr. Perry said on Fox Business.

He said the region is ripe with fossil fuels that companies could tap into and revitalize the local economy, which has seen a drastic plunge in the last decade. Mr. Perry said he’s seen a similar transformation before in his home state of Texas.

“You could duplicate the footprint of what you see along the Texas Gulf Coast in that Appalachian region,” Mr. Perry explained.

He said not only would it attract companies and create jobs, but they would be high-paying jobs and give people in the region new skills.

The Appalachian region has been a particular focus for the Trump administration.It’s where President Trump saw some of strongest numbers on Election Day and people in the region continue to support him. The area, once known as a manufacturing epicenter, has since seen a steady decline as factories closed.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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