The Coal Industry Was Already Struggling Before COVID-19
Coal has been declining for years. And renewable energy sources are only taking a bigger share of the market.
The coal industry was struggling long before this year's coronavirus epidemic began to sweep the United States. The pandemic may have hastened the race to the bottom, but it didn't cause it. Coal has declined by a third in the last 15 years. In that same period, renewables doubled, according to The Hill. This decline came even after Donald Trump repeatedly made campaign promises to bring back coal jobs. Trump started to roll back anti-coal regulations once in office, but it was already too late. The Energy Information Agency (EIA) predicted in 2018 that reliance on coal was falling and would only continue to fall. The existing regulations, especially put in place by former President Barack Obama, are not entirely responsible. Shifting market forces were already pushing the energy industry in a different direction. The coal jobs and coal industry revenues were already unlikely to come back by the time Trump entered office. As The Hill put it: "The war on coal, in short, is over. And coal lost."