LANSFORD, Pa. - President Trump says loosening environmental regulations could mean a comeback for coal and many in the Carbon County community of Lansford hope he’s right.
Megan Anderson owns a flower shop there and remembers happier times.
"Most businesses have closed and the population has dwindled," Anderson said.
"We had Bright department store, 5 car dealerships, all kinds of restaurants, boutiques, shoe stores," she explained.
Lifelong resident Vince Spisak is hopeful history can repeat itself."
Hopefully Mr. Trump will do a lot for us that he said he would do," the 54-year-old said.
Trump has now made it easier by way of Executive Order for coal mining companies to dump coal byproduct into waterways.
The order nixes a regulation put in place in the finals days of the Obama administration to protect rivers and streams.
"In eliminating this rule I'm continuing to keep my promise to the American people to get rid of wasteful regulations that do nothing but slow the economy and hamstring companies," Trump said.
Martin Ditsky, Lansford Borough's Council President, calls the development hopeful.
Ditsky said he'd be happy if the Industry was just 50% of what it once was.
"I've been told rich veins of coal run through the town," Ditsky said.
David Kuckta knows coal, president of the Number 9 Mine and Museum, says he's seen the highs and lows of the industry.
"In the future coal could bounce back because it's just waiting, saying I'm not going anywhere," he stated.
One coal industry expert 69 News spoke with said the price of natural gas will do more to bring back coal than repealing regulations.
The price of natural gas is simply too low to provide coal with an opportunity to make gains in the energy market.
However, towns like Lansford will wait and continue to hope for a brighter future.
"I think it would really help our area and really help the downtown," Anderson said.
Allentown, PA 18102