The people who actually do dig coal are going to be digging less of it as another coal mine closes.
It was announced this past week that a coal mine – the 4 West Mine – in southwestern Pennsylvania will close. It’s another blow to the coal industry, which President Trump has promised to revive. Mepco, the company that owns 4 West, said it would be shutting down the Greene County mine because it had become less productive and more costly to operate. About 400 workers will lose their jobs.
Trump made multiple tweets at the start of 2017 bragging about a Pennsylvania mine that ended up employing around 70 people. He even made it the highlight of a rally last summer. But so far Trump has been shockingly silent about the closure of a much larger mine just up the road.
Last June, Scott Pruitt claimed that Trump’s support caused an explosion in coal jobs.
“In fact, since the the fourth quarter of last year until most recently, we’ve added almost 50,000 jobs in the coal sector. In the month of May alone, almost 7,000 jobs.”
Except Pruitt was lying. It wasn’t 50,000 jobs. It wasn’t 5,000 jobs. At peak, the number of coal jobs, including temporary positions, was up around 1,300—38 times less than Pruitt stated. And that was a seasonal bump that’s been fading ever since. Before the closing of the 4 West Mine, the increase since Donald Trump took the helm was … about 500 jobs. With the closing of 4 West, all but 100 of those jobs have been eliminated. The closure in Pennsylvania followed another mine closure in Kentucky.
The mine closure follows the unanimous rejection of the plan created by Trump and Rick Perry to artificially boost the price of coal—even though the majority of commissioners were appointed by Trump. It also follows continued coal-powered power plant closures.
This time, even the New York Times is going to have to work hard to find someone who thinks Trump is the savior of coal.