“We’re putting our great coal miners back to work.” — President Donald Trump, at a rally in Johnstown, Pa., on Oct. 13, 2020.
President Donald Trump returned to Pennsylvania on Tuesday for the first time since his COVID-19 hospitalization and told supporters at a rally in Johnstown that he’d revived the nation’s struggling coal-mining industry.
“We’re putting our great coal miners back to work,” Trump said. We wondered whether the president fulfilled a campaign promise he made four years ago to bring back coal. He may have stopped the bleeding, but he hasn’t revived the industry.
Before the pandemic, there were about as many coal miners in the United States as there were when Trump took office, roughly 50,000. Stasis was a big improvement compared with the heavy losses the industry suffered under President Barack Obama, when the workforce shrunk by 40%.
Still, the revival Trump promised never materialized. There are 6,400 fewer miners today than when he took office. So, what happened?
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