The Coal Industry is Dying Even Faster Under Trump

In his State of the Union address last month, Donald Trump declared, “We have ended the war on beautiful, clean coal.” He might want to check the stats on that, though.

For all of the current administration’s bluster about how Barack Obama was dead-set on destroying the coal industry, it’s actually crumbling even faster under Trump’s leadership.

Per new energy reports, more coal capacity ended in just the first month and half of 2018 than in each of the first three years of the Obama administration. If all of the scheduled coal plant closures for 2018 go through, it’ll be the second worst year on record.

Additionally, a coal plant has closed about every 16 days since Trump took office, a rate that matches the average rate throughout Obama’s eight years. Although coal plant closures slowed a bit in 2017, scheduled closures for 2018 indicate it will likely match the peak year of 2015.

Certainly, those aren’t the kind of results that the president, a man who has made rescuing the coal industry a staple of his campaign and administration, will want to rest his hat on. For all of the blame Obama got for not helping coal miners enough, it’s got to be extra pitiful that Trump is actively trying to revive coal and still failing harder than ever.

Maybe – just maybe – the Democrats have been right all along and that coal is an outdated form of energy . It’s more responsible to look at other economic options for coal communities than to keep insisting coal will thrive once again when the market simply doesn’t exist for it.

Coal mines will continue to close, despite Trump’s supposed “support,” because clean, renewable energy is not only getting cheaper, but also is being demanded by customers who care about the environment.

American Electric Power is one such company that is pulling out of coal. Speaking to Green Tech Media, AEP’S executive vice president of external affairs, Charles Patton, explained why that is.

“You evolve and you learn, and technology causes you to look at the world differently and that’s what you have to do,” said Patton. “You can’t get stuck in the past or with the status quo. We’ve learned that and we’re moving forward.”

If the war on coal is over, it’s because, as ThinkProgress points out, it never really existed in the first place. This rhetoric was a conservative strategy to vilify Obama’s environmental agenda even though he was looking at the coal industry pragmatically.

It’ll be interesting to watch how coal miners respond to Trump in the upcoming years as their jobs continue to vanish.

Photo credit: Thinkstock.

70 comments

heather g
heather g3 months ago

what about the reports of Black Lung disease amongst coal miners?

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Berenice Guedes de Sá

Wonderful news!! And so ironic !!

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Anna R
Anna R3 months ago

Good

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Leanne K
Leanne K3 months ago

He may not have started the ball rolling but he sure is hastening the death of so many things - the coal industry, hibernating bears, my sense of whats right in this world...
Cant you just get Obama back??

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Alanna R
Alanna R3 months ago

Oh what sweet irony.

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Dot A
Dot A3 months ago

Trumpelstiltskin's words,... " clean beautiful coal! " - about as clean and beautiful as his corrupt mind !!! Let's keep the furor going, - because our retaliation is what will help us get back on a cleaner more beautiful path of energy, humanity's needs, and loving our Earth and all who live upon it. The United States of America has always represented the ideals of our species. Let's keep the goodness of this nation alive and well, for our future and the future of those who will follow us. Keep it clean and beautiful - for real.

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Ellen J
Ellen J3 months ago

Ditto Mary F's statement. We need to move past coal and oil. We also need to move past natural gas.

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Paulo R
Paulo R3 months ago

excellent news, ty

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Mary F
Mary F3 months ago

Better the industry die than any more miners!

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monica s
monica shepherd3 months ago

That is the kind of headline I like. I wonder, has Trump still got his stupid hard hat with "Trump digs coal"?

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