Paula Jean Swearengin (Unofficial)
Experts Say a Revival in the Coal Industry Is Practically Impossible
Trump and others have repeatedly promised to bring back coal jobs. But experts say that such an outcome is highly unlikely.
Trump is hardly the first political leader to make the promise of bringing coal jobs back. Other governors and local legislators, especially in coal-reliant communities, have made the same ill-fated promise. But the flaw in making any coal-related campaign promise is that the decline of coal is not due to public policies alone. "The decline of the U.S. coal industry is the result of market forces, not a policy 'war on coal,'" read one analysis. There is also more public support, especially from younger generations not entering the coal-related job market, to push for renewable energy use and policies to make that cheaper and easier to access. Coal plants and even airlines are facing increasing pressure to limit greenhouse gas emissions through policies and the use of carbon markets, which make it more financially viable to switch to more efficient fuel and move operations to more "green" methods. Trump's coal-related promises are also very regionally-specific. Some select areas may still have some coal employment prospects, but the administration's efforts have failed - even after Republicans tried to require Arizona's largest power company to buy from a now-closed plant in the town of Page. It had once powered homes from Phoenix to Las Vegas using more than 200 rail cars' worth of coal. The price of natural gas dropping was just one factor. Energy use also dropped during the pandemic as offices and stores shuttered.
Paula Jean believes this point based on