In his explanation for the sharp drop in coal industry jobs (“Hard Truths for Trump’s America,” Politics & Ideas, Sept. 14), William Galston dwells on the history of coal mining in the 1900s but ignores the job impact from policies today. Of course, like other industries, labor-saving technologies have cost some coal jobs to save others, but the Obama administration’s regulations have deliberately sought the demise of coal and the jobs it supports. Big difference.
For example, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards closed at least 33 gigawatts of coal-based capacity. The Energy Information Administration estimated another major capacity reduction from the pending Clean Power Plan. If upheld in court, this regulation could claim a total of 225,000 jobs. The Stream Protection Rule could cost up to 40,000 more mining jobs, and a multiyear moratorium on new federal coal leases threatens to displace still others. Studies from Duke and King universities confirm the unarguable impact of regulations like these on coal-industry employment.
The presidential candidates may not bring all these jobs back, but they can prevent the further loss of jobs that pay $84,000 or more annually. The president recently called for an honest dialogue about the plight of coal communities. A good start would be to acknowledge the real “hard” truth Mr. Galston ignores: that policies designed to keep coal in the ground also keep jobs away from workers, revenue from coal states and affordable electricity from consumers.
President and CEO
National Mining Association
See the article here.
- On September 21, 2016