The day before the 2016 United States presidential election, the Republican candidate Donald Trump promised a rally at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa. if elected President, coal miners would be put back to work.
“To all the people of Pennsylvania I say, we are going to put the miners and the factory workers and the steelworkers back to work,” said Trump to the crowd, which included supporters waving “Trump Digs Coal” signs.
Trump’s appeal to Pennsylvania coal country produced results, as he won the swing state’s 20 electoral votes by less than 50,000 votes. In 2012, Obama won the state by more than 200,000 votes.
Nearly four years later, Trump is telling Pennsylvania voters he fulfilled his promise.
Another report paints an even bleaker picture for the U.S. coal industry, forecasting coal’s percentage of the U.S. power-generation potentially dropping into single digits by 2025. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis report titled “Coal Outlook 2020: Market trends are pushing U.S. industry to a reckoning” notes that in 2014, coal supplied 38.6 percent of U.S. electricity needs, but had dropped to 23.4 percent by 2019, three years after Trump’s election.
[Bryan Wilkes and Matt Rasnic]