Donald Trump Saves the Coal Industry!

The LA Times tells the story today of a coal-fired power plant in Homer City, Pennsylvania:

“Everyone gets concerned when they wake up and don’t see smoke coming out,” said Rob Nymick, manager of the 1,700-resident borough that he says will be economically “crushed” if the plant goes dark.

….The plant remains an albatross to investors, and a source of increasing anxiety to the hundreds of Pennsylvanians who rely on it for their livelihood. It is likely to remain a loser financially no matter how far Trump goes in rolling back regulations.

“I’m not sold on the fact that the war on coal is putting that power plant out of business,” said Nymick, pointing to struggles to compete with cheaper natural gas, solar and wind energy. “You don’t know what to believe or who to believe.”

This is all true. And yet, oddly enough, Trump has missed a chance to boast about what he’s done for the coal industry. Check out this chart:

In reality, this blip is meaningless. Coal mining employment has experienced four substantial upward bounces since 2000 even as overall employment stayed flat during the whole period. But that’s never stopped Trump before, so what’s the problem this time? The proposal of the Clean Power Plan in 2014 really does seem to be associated with a big drop in coal employment, and that drop stopped in mid-2016 and then turned around when Trump was elected: employment in the coal mining industry has risen from 50,000 to 52,000 since November.

Coincidence? Who cares! Given all the other nonsense Trump brags about, how is it that he’s missed bragging about this?

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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