CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A proposal to use federal money to help boost the coal industry in the eastern United States is raising protests from Wyoming.

Wyoming Mining Association Executive Director Travis Deti says he thinks it's "misguided" to provide federal support to a particular region against another. Deti says Wyoming coal would be at a competitive disadvantage.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has proposed using around $4.5 billion in federal funds annually to pay eastern power plants to burn coal from states in the Appalachian region.

Wyoming is the nation's leading coal producer.

Deti says he'd like to see the federal government step away from energy industries in general.

Wyoming's top elected officials, including Gov. Matt Mead and the state's congressional delegation, also oppose the idea.

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