Tags: coal | energy | renewable | kentucky | protest

Coal Workers Continue to Struggle in Trump Country

houses on a street leading up to a mountain where coal is mined
Lynch Ky. in Eastern Kentucky has seen a population decline, now around 500, as fewer jobs remain. ( Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 01 September 2019 10:25 AM

President Donald Trump promised in 2016 to end the "war on coal," promoting "clean coal," but laid-off workers in Trump country are rebelling over lost jobs and missed paychecks, The Washington Post reported.

"These workers are showing how all workers are vulnerable to the efforts of corporations to deny them wages and benefits, but you can come together as a group and challenge it," Kentucky AFL-CIO President William J. Londrigan told the Post of protests over bankruptcy of coal company Blackjewel, which operates in Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

While the number of Americans employed in the coal industry has remained steady under President Trump, coal production in the U.S. is projected to drop from 711 million tons to less than 600 million tons over the next five years, according to Wood Mackenzie consulting firm analyst Gregory Marmon to the Post.

"The administration has definitely pulled back regulations, and that has stopped some of the bleeding, but renewable energy is so cost-effective, and natural gas prices are so low, the pulling back of some regulations has not been able to stop the decline of coal," Marmon told the Post.

Cumberland, Kentucky, in Harlan County – where Trump won 85% of the vote – featured a protest of laid-off Blackjewel workers and a coal rail amid bankruptcy proceedings selloff. It represents the places in the U.S. that President Trump vowed to work for in 2016.

"It just feels like we are still waiting," Boe Montgomery, 59, told the Post. "This town is just about done in, and they might as well just make it a lake."

Harlan County had a 13% unemployment rate when President Trump took office, which dropped to 7% at one point – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics – but is now back up to 13% in July, per Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the Post reported.

"This is an issue of one failed company, and one failed executive who didn't manage his company the right way," county executive Dan Mosley, a Democrat, told the Post.

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President Donald Trump promised in 2016 to end the "war on coal," promoting "clean coal," but laid-off workers in Trump country are rebelling over lost jobs and missed paychecks, The Washington Post reported....
coal, energy, renewable, kentucky, protest
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2019-25-01
Sunday, 01 September 2019 10:25 AM
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