VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) – A congressman is throwing his support behind a proposal to build Indiana’s first simulated coal mine for miner safety training.

Republican Rep. Larry Bucshon (boo-SHAHN’) represents southwestern Indiana’s coal country and joined coal industry, utility and other government officials Friday at a Vincennes University coal summit.

Bucshon says the goal of the simulated coal mine is to enhance safety without having to train miners on the job.

Currently, the closest simulated coal mines to Indiana are in Madisonville, Ky., and Rend Lake, Ill. Vincennes University has pledged $250,000 for the project.

But Bucshon says the money needed to develop a simulated coal mine for safety training in Indiana will come from a combination of federal, state, industry and university money.