By Stephen Moore
May 10, 2017 - Remember when liberals said there was NO WAY Donald Trump could or would ever revive the coal industry?
He was called a liar and a charlatan for going to West Virginia and Pennsylvania and other parts of economically depressed Appalachia promising that he would bring back coal jobs. “Coal is dead,” the Sierra Club declared triumphantly to its donors last year.
Jason Bordoff, a policy advisor in the Obama White House and now the director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, insisted when Trump rolled back Obama’s anti-coal executive orders: “Scrapping the Clean Power Plan may slow the decline of coal — but it’s not bringing coal back.”
Well, coal is back. The latest jobs report says that 8,000 more mining jobs were added in April. That brings the grand total to more than 40,000 new mining jobs since the election of Donald J. Trump. Does this sound like an industry in decline?
It seems like just yesterday that Hillary Clinton was promising to her left-wing millionaire and billionaire environmental friends that she would put every remaining coal worker out of a job. (Then she wonders how she lost West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio!)
She wanted to finish the job started by Obama in their war against fossil fuels. A 2015 report by the American Action Forum found that coal-fired power plants shed about 40,000 jobs under Obama and at least 10,00 coal mining jobs were lost through 2015.
The left wants to kill all coal jobs and production because of the hyper-obsession with global warming. The Wall Street Journal reports that China is building scores of new coal-burning power plants even as we have shuttered many of our domestic plants.
Groups like the Sierra Club have announced they don’t want to stop once they’ve murdered every coal job. Now they’ve announced they also want to eliminate all the jobs in oil and gas – that’s nearly 10 million jobs. This is why they are blocking pipelines all across America.
But the Trump counteroffensive is working. America was built on coal. We have 500 years of this energy – far more than any other nation.
Liberals have argued that coal’s decline is due to the advent of cheap shale gas. But clean coal is here. Thanks to fracking and other drilling technologies, natural gas prices have fallen from $10 to $3 per million cubic feet, which has hurt coal producers.
But economic necessity is the mother of invention and coal companies like Peabody have figured out how to become far more efficient in their production. Coal plants are reopening.
Elections have consequences. Hooray to the workers of the industrial Midwest – the workers who Democrats had given up for dead. King coal is on its way back, just as Trump promised it would be.
Stephen Moore is an economic consultant with Freedom Works and co-author of “Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War Against Energy.”