Should we even try to save the coal industry? | The Tylt
Should we even try to save the coal industry?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states while there were 852,500 jobs in the coal mining industry in 2014, mining had hemorrhaged 191,000 jobs by May 2016—and the industry is still in decline. Many in Appalachia and other coal-mining regions say President Obama’s policies caused a steep decline in the industry’s fortunes, and they voted for Trump because he said he could bring those jobs back. Would you support environmental regulation if it meant you would lose your job?
But many other energy analysts say coal is never coming back. The industry peaked in the 1920s, and its decline has many factors, only one of which is environmental regulation:
"Coal’s struggles to compete are caused by cheap natural gas, cheap renewables, air-quality regulations that got their start in the George W. Bush administration and weaker-than-expected demand for coal in Asia....Mr. Trump cannot reverse these trends."
But for people in coal country, Trump's executive actions are giving them hope after decades of decline and poverty.
But saying the coal industry can be revived is akin to saying Kodak film or VHS players are going to make a comeback. Natural gas, automation, and renewables are here to stay. Wouldn't we be better off investing in growing industries that don't damage the environment? Or offering job training and education to people in a dying industry?
But for many people in the industry, allowing coal to just die out feels like just another example of liberal America's total ignorance of people who live between the coasts. Trump is actually acknowledging them by prioritizing coal and signing this executive order.