YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – One of President Trump’s major campaign promises was to revive the coal industry.
Reversing many of the decisions made by the Obama administration.
Nearly a year into his presidency — what has been done?
One year into his presidency and President Trump continues to say at rallies he is bringing back coal jobs.
“We’re going to save the coal industry. Believe me — we’re going to save it.”
EPA Director, Scott Pruitt says they’ve added nearly 50,000 jobs to the industry this year. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says it’s actually closer to only 2,000.
Pruitt and others say the BLS doesn’t take into account the jobs created in moving and storing the coal in warehouses — so the number is in dispute.
Coal production is up eight percent from this time last year according to the Energy Information Administration.
It’s been nine years since former President Barack Obama took office.
In those nine years, politicians and coal industry leaders have had one phrase they’ve continuously used — war on coal.
The “war on coal” has been a major talking point — coal has been hit hard in the market.
At it’s highest point in the mid 1980’s, the industry employed more than 175,000 people — now it’s only one third of that number.
President Trump believes lifting restrictions on American energy is a historic step — he partly blames Obama for the decline in the industry.
From 2012, when Obama was reelected to the end of 2016, the coal industry was cut nearly in half.
President Trump has repealed several major orders the Obama administration took to combat climate change.
It’s difficult to say whether the coal can recover.
Automation and cheap natural gas had a hand in its decline.
Just three weeks ago, energy company, General Electric said it would cut 12,000 jobs in Germany and Switzerland. Their man competitor, Siemans said they would cut nearly 7,000 jobs. Both citing the massive changes in the energy industry as the cause.