Trump promised to bring back coal jobs, but he has failed to produce meaningful action. Coal power plants are still shutting down. Adding insult to injury, Trump is ready to eliminate federal coal mining safety regulations.
Will that help increase jobs? Economists say no. Domestic natural gas production has slashed demand for coal. The Appalachian region has lost about 33,500 mining jobs since 2011, according to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
At the same time Trump is touting coal, he undercuts his message by also encouraging coal miners to attend community colleges, job training and apprenticeships to learn new job skills. So which is it? Is coal coming back or should miners get retrained?
More confusingly, his proposed 2018 budget would cut job training funds significantly. Last spring the ARC awarded Youngstown State University $1 million for retraining. The grant comes from a spending bill Trump had nothing to do with. And if Trump gets his way, the agency giving out the money, the ARC, will be eliminated.
In short, Trump has failed to revive coal, eliminated safety regulations that protect coal miners, promised miners job retaining, but is cutting retraining programs!
Why should workers trust this President?
Peter D. Bullard