(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump spent more than $1 billion in taxpayer funds, rolled back environmental rules and tried to stop power plant closings to fulfill a vow he made to West Virginia coal miners in the 2016 campaign.
But nothing he’s done is rescuing the coal industry. Since Trump’s inauguration, U.S. coal production—after a slight uptick in 2017—is expected to be down 31% this year from 2016 levels.
By some estimates, more than five dozen coal-burning power plants have closed and although mining jobs remained steady before dropping this year, they didn’t increase.
“They’ve tried to do a lot but very little has been effective,” said Seth Feaster, an analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, an organization that focuses on transitioning to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy. “It’s a pretty bleak picture for coal.”
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