By Michael Messina
Coal miners just got a lump from Trump.
With the president’s promise to roll back Obama-era environmental standards, he also gave assurances that coal miners (part of an industry in decline) would have a certain amount of job security. At a signing ceremony in Washington that directed the EPA to withdraw from the Clean Power Plan, Trump - with miners and executives looking on eagerly - said, “C’mon, fellas. You know what this is? You know what this says? You’re going back to work.”
Unfortunately, Trump has once again conveniently forgotten to look at the facts. According to CNN, the industry decline has its roots in good old fashioned capitalism.
The reality is that the demand for coal in the United States has been declining for years due to capitalism, not government regulations.
The falling price of natural gas is the primary reason for the plunge in use of coal by utilities. Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, are also becoming more competitive.
“There are a lot of market forces already driving the utility industry towards cleaner energy,” said Kevin Rennert, visiting fellow with Resources for the Future, a Washington Think Tank concentrating on energy issues. “Getting rid of the [Obama rules] doesn't change that.”
What’s Trump going to tell these families when his reduction in environmental protections doesn’t translate into new work?
Labor 411 is all for good jobs in this country, but this is clearly just another excuse for Trump to take regulations off of businesses for the sake of appeasing corporate big wigs.
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