Last week’s editorial on the coal bankruptcies affecting coal miners in Kentucky overlooked the main source of the coal industry’s decline and pinned it on efforts to combat climate change.
Coal jobs have been in decline for decades, but the Obama era Clean Power Plan, often blamed for the decline of coal, was only proposed in 2015, and it has since been rolled back by the Trump administration.
It is also worth noting that the Clean Power Plan had the potential to significantly reduce the number of premature deaths due to air pollution from coal fired power plants.
The fight against climate change and pollution is not killing coal jobs, although coal companies would like us all to believe that. The true culprits of coal decline are automation and cheap natural gas.
No matter what politicians in Washington say, these coal jobs are not coming back, and the fight against climate change is not what took those jobs away.
If our leaders really cared about helping coal miners, they would be trying to encourage the renewable energy industry to come to coal mining regions. The truth is that our politicians are only defending coal executives and their profit margins, not the workers or our planet.