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Coal in Decline

President Trump promised coal workers during his campaign that he was going to put them back to work. Trump instead is helping the coal companies that are continuing to cut jobs and benefits, not the workers. He claimed that he has created 50,000 new coal mining jobs.

The Truth

Like most things Trump says, the number of new coal mining jobs turned out to be false. While it’s true that the Labor Department showed that 43,00 jobs were added to the “mining” job market since October, the category also includes employment in oil and gas extraction. According to CNN, only 1,300 jobs were created for coal miners. Trump has also signed orders that will increase the production of natural gas, which is killing the business of coal. Businesses are turning to natural gas and renewable energy because they are cheaper, cleaner, and more efficient. Coal is a dying business and Trump is doing these American coal miners a disservice by making them promises he can’t keep. Instead of encouraging laid-off miners to look for work else where, or giving businesses incentives to hire ex-miners, he is flooding their ears with words of encouragement to hold out for their mining jobs because they will soon be “working their asses off.”

It’s true that some towns rely on coal mining jobs to support their families. The fact of the matter is, like many jobs, people are being replaced by machines. For the coal companies this means less labor costs and more profits, but for workers that means even more layoffs.

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