In May 2016, during his first campaign, Trump said, in West Virginia
On Thursday, Trump drew wild applause in Charleston, W.Va., by telling miners in hard hats and reflective stripes to get ready to be "working your asses off" in reopened mines if he's elected. Some people waved signs saying, "Trump digs coal," and the business tycoon joked about needing a spritz of hair spray after trying on a miner's helmet, the gift of an industry group.
"I'm thinking about the miners all over this country," Trump said. "We're gonna put the miners back to work. We're gonna put the miners back to work. We're gonna get those mines open."Of course, it was just a lie to get votes, as many analysts knew at the time -- that the real reason coal was in decline was because electricity generated from natural gas had become cheaper.
If Trump didn't know that he was incompetent. If he did know it then he was a liar.
This time, Trump's campaigning looks to be too busy being a racist to have time to bother with coal miners. Their numbers hadn't moved at all since Trump's inauguration, and with the pandemic have plummeted:
I guess the pandemic plummet is due to less electricity used by industry, even though there must be more electricity use by households. Though looking at the graph the plummeting here began in the late 2019s, which is consistent with the Trump recession beginning this past February, before the pandemic.
I don't know how you do this, but US coal miners, in the Appalachians and in Wyoming, need to be made to realize that coal simply isn't come back, due to the economics alone. Plus add climate change on top of that. Coal power is now more expensive than wind and solar too.
Hillary Clinton really did have it right when she said, during her 2016, "we're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business." It was a mistake, which she admitted later. But, typically, that's all that was quoted and no one went any further. But what she said after that was
"We're going to make it clear that we don't want to forget those people," Clinton said. "Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories. Now we've got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels, but I don't want to move away from the people who did the best they could to produce the energy that we relied on."She wanted to invest in the region -- at one point I think I remember hearing her say $30 billion. That's a lot of money.
I know a regional economy doesn't change easily. I understand it is scary. My dad was in the steel industry near Pittsburgh in the '70s, which was collapsing, and we had to move twice, the first time away from all my extended family and the second time all the way across the country, and those were some of the biggest factors on the shape of my personality, personally. The governor of West Virginia is a billionaire in the coal business, so he's not going to lead them to a new, sustainable future. Trump couldn't lead six baby ducks to a pond of water. Their leaders are failing them, in a manner such that early deaths in Appalachia have, over the decades, surely exceeded deaths from COVID-19. Seems Trump probably doesn't care about either.