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100 Middle Schoolers Refuse Photo-Op With Paul Ryan During D.C. Trip

Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) may be the House Speaker and third in line for the presidency, but that reportedly didn?t sway roughly 100 middle school students to take a photo with him earlier this week.

The students were visiting Washington, D.C., from New Jersey?s South Orange Middle School on Thursday when they were offered the chance to pose with Ryan, according to reports.

Accompanying parents told New Jersey?s Village Green that about half of the students opted not to stand beside him.

?It?s not just a picture,? student Matthew Malespina told ABC 7 News of his decision not to join Ryan. ?It?s being associated with a person who puts his party before his country.?

Fellow student Wendy Weeks said she also opted to not take a photo, telling the Village Green that to have stood next to Ryan would have given the wrong impression of how she feels about him.

?I think that taking the picture represents that you agree with the same political views and I don?t agree with his political views so I chose not to be in it,? said the eight-grader.

Not everyone felt this way or at least chose to pose with Ryan, who has helped repeal and replace former President Barack Obama?s Affordable Care Act with the Republican-backed American Health Care Act. Ryan reportedly wasn?t even aware of the mass dissent, some students said.

Student Miles Handelman, who was one of those who went to stand with Ryan, said his appreciation rested with it being such a rare opportunity.

?I thought it would be very cool just seeing the man who is the third most powerful man in our country. It would be cool, even if you disagree with him,? he told ABC News.

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Top Trump Economic Adviser: Coal Doesn’t Make Sense Anymore

Somebody should have been straight with the coal miners Donald Trump wooed during the presidential election. After months of Trump promising that they?d be working again mining coal, one of his top economic aides now says that coal ?doesn?t make sense anymore.?

Gary Cohn, director of the White House National Economic Council, talked up other energy sources and seemed to throw in the towel on coal as he spoke with reporters aboard Air Force One Thursday night.

?Coal doesn?t even make that much sense anymore as a feedstock,? he said, CNN Money reported. Feedstock refers to what?s used to produce energy. Cohn called natural gas a ?such a cleaner fuel,? and pointed out that America has become an ?abundant producer? of natural gas. 

He also praised renewable energy. ?If you think about how solar and how much wind power we?ve created in the United States, we can be a manufacturing powerhouse and still be environmentally friendly,? Cohn said.

Cohn was a million miles away from Trump?s campaign chorus about bringing back coal. ?Miners … get ready because you?re going to be working your asses off,? Trump said at a campaign speech a year ago.

And in March Trump declared at a ceremony in the White House flanked by miners: ?We will put our miners back to work. My administration is putting an end to the war on coal. We?re going to have clean coal, really clean coal.?

Statistics have shown that coal began losing jobs long before any environmental restrictions imposed by the Obama administration ? contradicting Trump?s claims ? because it?s not economically competitive with other energy sources.

?The market conditions are not there,? Dan Bucks, a coal policy expert and former director of revenue for the coal-producing state of Montana, told The Huffington Post in March. ?Federal policy is only one variable, and market conditions are the larger factor.?

Coal mining accounted for some 65,000 jobs in the U.S. in 2015, according to government statistics. Estimates of the number of renewable energy jobs in the U.S. vary, but are conservatively believed to be in the hundreds of thousands.

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– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.


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