Fact-Checking Trump’s Promise to Create More Coal-Mining Jobs

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享David Koenig for the Associated Press:TRUMP: “We’re going to get those miners back to work … the miners of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, which was so great to me last week, Ohio and all over are going to start to work again, believe me. They are going to be proud again to be miners.”THE FACTS: It is unclear what Trump would do to increase mining jobs. He has long criticized the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency, saying that its proposals to tighten emission standards on coal-burning power plants are killing American jobs. A Trump adviser said that a Trump administration would review many EPA regulations including those affecting the coal industry.While the requirements have raised the cost of operating coal-fired plants, experts say a bigger factor in coal’s decline has been cheaper natural gas. Drilling techniques such as fracking have sparked a boom in gas production, driving down prices and prompting utilities to switch from coal.As recently as 2008, about half the electricity in the U.S. came from burning coal and one-fifth from burning natural gas. Today, each accounts for about one-third — nuclear, hydroelectric and renewables like solar and wind make up most of the rest. Weak economic growth has hurt demand for Appalachian coal used in making steel.U.S. coal production fell 10 percent last year. The Energy Department predicts it will drop 16 percent this year, the biggest one-year decline since 1958.John Deskins, director of an economic-research bureau at West Virginia University, said government’s ability to boost coal production is limited.“It is very unlikely we will see a return to levels of coal production like we observed in 2008,” the most recent peak in the state, Deskins said. Easing EPA restrictions — the industry is challenging EPA in court — would help over the long run, but not enough to offset the loss of market share to natural gas, he said.There is another limitation on coal’s future in Appalachia: After decades of heavy production, there is less of it to be mined.Wyoming, with rich reserves of low-sulfur coal near the surface, is the largest coal-producing-state and has the most coal still in the ground at producing mines. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Wyoming has three times as much recoverable reserves at producing mines as West Virginia and about twice as much as West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio combined.TRUMP: “I want clean coal, and we’re going to have clean coal and we’re going to have plenty of it. We’re going to have great, clean coal. We’re going to have an amazing mining business.”THE FACTS: Clean coal covers a range of technologies, some already in use, to reduce pollution. Many types of emissions from coal-fired plants have been reduced, but the capturing and storing of carbon dioxide, the emission that scientists say is most responsible for climate change, has been harder to accomplish on a significant scale.A model carbon-capture plant being built in Mississippi has encountered repeated delays and huge cost overruns that will make it one of the most expensive power plants ever built. The coal industry complains that carbon capture has not received the government incentives showered on renewable energy.Full item: AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s vow to create Appalachian coal jobs Fact-Checking Trump’s Promise to Create More Coal-Mining Jobslast_img