Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Trump Claim Of Increasing Coal Jobs By 50,000 Is A LIE

Shortly after announcing the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on global climate change, Donald Trump (and EPA director Pruitt) both claimed that 50,000 new jobs had been created in the coal industry thanks to their efforts. That was a ludicrous lie.

As the bottom chart shows, there are only 51,000 current jobs in the coal industry as of May 2017 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). If Trump's claim was true, that means he created 50,000 of the total 51,000 coal jobs just since he was elected.

It is true that 50,000 jobs have been created in mining and extraction industries -- but the vast majority of those jobs are in logging and the extraction of oil and natural gas. Even if you just consider mining jobs, you must remember that coal is not the only thing mined in this country.

There have been about 1200 jobs created in the coal industry since May of 2016. Almost all of them due to the opening of a new mine (with 800 employees) approved during the Obama administration -- not the Trump administration.

While Trump has probably done serious damage to the fight against global climate change, the truth is he has done almost nothing in creating new coal industry jobs (400 jobs at the most). His claim of creating 50,000 new coal industry jobs is simply NOT true.

Also not true is his claim that President Obama hurt the coal industry. As the chart above shows (from The Atlantic), the problems in the coal industry started long before Obama became president. In 1986, there were 178,000 coal industry jobs. When Obama was sworn in that had already dropped to 86,000.

The coal industry is not going to rebound, regardless of anything Trump might do. Coal is the dirtiest of the fossil fuels (and "clean coal" is just a myth). America is going toward using clean and renewable sources of energy because that's what the people want. As these sources become cheaper all the time, the coal industry will continue to decline.

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