Here is Trump rolling back progress in keeping our federal lands protected, our air clean, and our heritage intact. And he is proud of it, telling the coal workers behind him that they’re getting their jobs back. This makes no sense to me whatsoever.
First, as the Washington Post article suggests, the action will not make any difference in the number of coal jobs. Coal production and consumption in the United States has gone from about 820 million tons in 2000 through about 2007, and have steadily declined to below 600 million tons long before Obama’s freeze on federal coal leasing in 2015. Demand has been well below supply for the last 15 years. Trump’s ceremonial undoing of Obama’s regulation will not make any difference in this trend. We’ll burn less coal, and that’s a good thing.
Trump and his cronies paid by the coal industry are reveling in the admiration of the coal workers.
COAL WORKERS, for heaven’s sake! Coal is one of the dirtiest industries. There is no such thing as clean coal. Not only does it pollute the environment, our water, our forests, coal mines are ugly and leave scars upon the land that will be there for millions of years. Coal workers get sick and die years, sometimes decades earlier than their contemporaries. Read Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence and then tell me you want to work in a coal mine! But Trump and his billionaire cronies think they are doing these coal workers a favor by sending them back into mines. And the coal workers seem to be lapping it up. This is so wrong.
The coal workers should be going to school and learn about solar power. That’s where the money is. That’s where the jobs are.
This chart shows there are more than four times as many jobs in the solar industry as there are in the coal industry. Even wind energy jobs are more plentiful than coal.
When coal demand goes down to 400 million tons in the next ten years, those are the skills they will need.
Trump will ride into the sunset of his life then, much richer, living in his golden tower, and the miners will still be unemployed, dreaming about working in coal mines, and admiring their billionaire benefactor.
This makes no sense to me at all.