Saturday, June 03, 2017

Fact-Checking Trump:  Coal Mines Open, Prospects Bleak

A coal mine near Gilette, Wyo. (Credit: Greg Goebel/flickr) Click to Enlarge.
As President Trump announced on Thursday that the U.S. would leave the Paris climate agreement, he repeatedly expressed unwavering support for the coal mining industry.  Boosting coal production, bringing back coals jobs, and killing federal climate change programs have been among his top priorities since he took office.

“The mines are starting to open up, having a big opening in two weeks, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, so many places,” Trump said in his Rose Garden speech.  “A big opening of a brand new mine.  It’s unheard of.”

But across the country, coal mines aren’t starting to open as much as Trump suggests, and the industry faces a bleak future as cheap and abundant natural gas, wind, and solar power out compete coal.

“The decline in U.S. coal production is the result of powerful technological and market trends that are unlikely to change anytime soon,” said Jonathan Koomey, an earth systems and energy lecturer at Stanford University.  “Cheap natural gas, the rapid decline in the cost of solar and wind generation, and continued flat electricity demand make it next to impossible that U.S. coal production will significantly increase in coming years.”

Read more at Fact-Checking Trump:  Coal Mines Open, Prospects Bleak

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