Speaking with CNN, four female coal miners and Trump voters answered questions about President Donald Trump’s decision on Thursday to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord. Trump was met with a global backlash after announcing the controversial decision, but the women CNN talked to said that while they still support Trump, they were experiencing mixed feelings over his decision.
“I am not a climate change denier,” said Stacey Moeller, a 58-year-old shovel operator. “I do believe we certainly have an impact. But I think we can lessen that in a responsible way that doesn’t … put entire groups of people out of work.”
While the Paris Accord would have imposed carbon reduction targets, she added, the recent dramatic downturn in the coal industry had been largely caused by an overabundance of cheap natural gas.
Shovel operator Jodi Saunders, 51, also acknowledged the need to shift to renewable resources. Like Moeller, her greatest concern was that people would move to shut down mines entirely, rather than a more gradual shift away from coal that would hurt workers like herself less severely. While admitting that Trump’s attempt to increase coal jobs to her area had less of an effect than she had hoped, Saunders added that Americans should nonetheless put their own livelihoods first above concerns such as climate change.
For 33-year-old equipment operator Fallon Hoverson, there was little to debate. According to Hoverson, climate change is a lie. From her perspective, there was no reason to enter the Paris Accord in the first place.
Lora Dilley, 55, who works as a safety operator, took a more measured approach.
“I wish he hadn’t [pulled out] just because it makes us seem as though we’re not in with the rest of the world in combating climate change. So the whole appearance of it isn’t good,” Dilley said.
Watch the interview below.
Read the full story at CNN.