September 3, 2020 Read More →

Trump coal boasts could come back to haunt re-election bid

Bloomberg Green:

President Donald Trump spent more than $1 billion in taxpayer funds, rolled back environmental rules and tried to stop power plant closings to fulfill a vow he made to West Virginia coal miners in the 2016 campaign.

But nothing he’s done is rescuing the coal industry.

Since Trump’s inauguration, U.S. coal production—after a slight uptick in 2017—is expected to be down 31% this year from 2016 levels. By some estimates, more than five dozen coal-burning power plants have closed and although mining jobs remained steady before dropping this year, they didn’t increase.

“They’ve tried to do a lot but very little has been effective,” said Seth Feaster, an analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, an organization that focuses on transitioning to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy. “It’s a pretty bleak picture for coal.”

The grim outlook for coal could take a political toll on Trump, whose 2016 victory was propelled by carrying the mining strongholds of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Trump honed his appeal to working class Americans by donning a hard hat and promising to get miners back to work four years ago, but now Democrat Joe Biden is courting the same blue-collar voters. 

[Ari Natter and Will Wade]

More: Trump Made a Promise to Save Coal in 2016. He Couldn’t Keep It

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

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