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Trump’s Failure To Save Coal Accompanied By Failure To Help Coal Workers Find New Careers

One of the major issues of the 2016 presidential campaign in the United States was the issue of the US coal industry.

One of the major issues of the 2016 presidential campaign in the United States was the issue of the US coal industry.

If you want to look back that far in time, there were two major claims made by the two candidates:

  • Donald Trump claimed that he was going to save the coal industry.
  • Hillary Clinton acknowledged that the US coal industry was going away, could not be saved, and that the US government should have programs to help people transition from the coal industry to new industries.

Unfortunately, approach #1 was seen as a political win and approach #2 was seen as a big mistake and then treated like a gaffe.

Where are we today after nearly 4 years of Trump?

Well, if you are a regular CleanTechnica reader, you’ve probably seen this report by now: “Coal Dropped from 26.9% of US Electricity to 17.7% in 2 Years — So Much For Trump Saving Coal.” Here’s the key chart:

Just from 2018 to 2020, coal’s share of US electricity dropped from 27% to 18%. Furthermore, that’s down from 33% in 2015, 39% in 2014, 45% in 2010, and 50% in 2005.

So, I think it’s pretty clear that Donald Trump definitively has not saved the US coal industry. And that’s also evident from the fact that he has hardly gone close to the topic in 2020.

That means one of two things: Hillary Clinton was right and the coal industry couldn’t be saved, or it could have been saved but Trump is an inept loser who simply can’t get things done. (Recall that Mexico also has not paid for a wall on the southern US border.)

But here’s the biggie: Clinton had a plan for the people in that industry. Her administration would have helped to retrain coal industry employees and would have helped them find new jobs, like clean energy jobs or electric vehicle jobs.

Instead, we have Donald Trump. Like rally attendees recently left out in the cold to suffer from hypothermia, he forgot about (or simply neglected) the coal workers, let them lose their jobs, and didn’t help anyone transition into a new industry or career.

This is not a surprise. He is a career con man who had his “charity” shut down because it wasn’t acting as a charity but was simply funneling money to the Trump family in deceitful ways. His fake university “Trump University” shut down after settling in a fraud lawsuit. Trump’s company paid $27 million in settlements over these cases. Corruption and conning people are basically Trump’s middle name, executive title, and modus operandi.

But has Trump paid the price with those coal workers who got nothing, or other blue collar workers who got nothing from Trump in the past 4 years — aside from entertainment? If he hasn’t paid the price, why not? Do some people just like watching this garbage fire of a reality TV show? Is something else driving them to vote for the con man from Queens with a golden toilet who reportedly owes about $1 billion that he’ll have to pay back … somehow … to someone … in the next few years?

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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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