Donald Trump markets himself as a business-savvy billionaire who will get American jobs back from countries like China. In the case of the coal industry, however, he appears to be just a very clueless politician making pro-pollution promises he can’t keep.
“I’m a free-market guy, but not when you’re getting killed,” he said recently at a rally in Carmel, Indiana. “Look at steel, it’s being wiped out. Your coal industry is wiped out, and China is taking our coal.” Huh? “China is taking our coal”? If China were taking much of our coal (in the form of U.S. exports) that would be great for coal jobs.
If Trump meant Chinese coal exports are taking away our coal market (i.e. potential U.S. sales overseas), then he is truly clueless about the coal business. China flipped from net coal exporter to net importer back in 2009 (!) and quickly became the world’s biggest importer.
We have exported a modest amount of coal to China in recent years — but again these statistics provide zero support for the claim that China is somehow harming our coal industry, let alone wiping it out.
Trump likes to demagogue on easy enemies and easy fixes, but coal has no “enemy” except maybe the world’s growing desire for having cleaner air and preserving a livable climate. Trump certainly seems to imply that clean air and a livable climate have become his enemy too.
Trump recently said in coal country: “Let me tell you: the miners in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, which was so great to me last week and Ohio and all over, they’re going to start to work again, believe me. You’re going to be proud again to be miners.”
For the rest of this article, click here: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/05/04/3775234/donald-trump-coal-industry/