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Mon Oct 28, 2019, 05:10 PM

In Pro-Trump West Virginia Coal Country, the Jobs Keep Leaving

(snip)

Donald Trump carried coal communities like this one in 2016, with promises to boost what he calls “clean, beautiful coal.” That popularity doesn’t seem to be waning, even as coalfields around the country are shedding jobs again after an uptick in the past two years. At the same time, Mr. Adkins and others in Logan County aren’t looking to next year’s election to rescue an industry hurt by the closure of coal-fired power plants, and more recently by slowing global demand and weak prices for coal used to make steel. Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said Mr. Trump had restored pride to the state’s coalfields but that companies are responding to the market. “If you’re not getting enough money to cover the cost of production, you’ve got to make some changes,” he said. “That’s what’s occurring now.”

Blackhawk Mining said it will close three mines and lay off 342 miners, including Mr. Adkins, mostly in Logan County. Peabody Energy said this month it would close a coal mine in Illinois, with more than 200 workers losing their jobs—and more than half a dozen U.S. coal companies have filed for bankruptcy since last October. Nationally, employment at coal mines fell to 73,969 in the second quarter, compared with just over 76,000 at the end of 2018, and 110,000 a decade ago, according to the Labor Department.

The Trump administration earlier this year moved to undo Obama-era environmental rules on power-plant emissions, but the change hasn’t slowed the closure of coal-fired power plants driven by an abundance of cheap natural gas. U.S. coal production in 2019 is expected to fall 10% from a year earlier and decline by an additional 11% in 2020, according to the Energy Information Administration.

But that isn’t dimming Mr. Trump’s support here, where residents view some Democratic candidates’ suggestions of phasing out coal completely as a lethal blow in an area with high rates of poverty and drug addiction. Mr. Trump won 80% of the vote in Logan County, which, like the rest of West Virginia has shifted solidly Republican since Democrat Al Gore won the county with 62% of the vote in 2000.

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-pro-trump-west-virginia-coal-country-the-jobs-keep-leaving-11572269967 (paid subscription)


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Reply In Pro-Trump West Virginia Coal Country, the Jobs Keep Leaving (Original post)
question everything Oct 2019 OP
saidsimplesimon Oct 2019 #1
Eyeball_Kid Oct 2019 #2
TheCowsCameHome Oct 2019 #3
Blue_true Oct 2019 #4
mwooldri Oct 2019 #5

Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Oct 28, 2019, 05:13 PM

1. My cousin was recruited to work in the

health care industry in WV, black lung and other mining related illness.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Oct 28, 2019, 05:16 PM

2. West Virginians keep thinking that it's rain running down their heads.

Trumpy keeps emptying his bottomless bladder.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Oct 28, 2019, 05:20 PM

3. They all went to fuel the resurgence of steel mills.

or not...

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Oct 28, 2019, 05:24 PM

4. At some point, they will get a clue. At that point work can be done to give them a solid future. nt

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Oct 28, 2019, 05:26 PM

5. Cheap gas. Cheap wind and cheap solar.

Frankly the writing is on the wall for coal as a source of energy to create electricity. Some other industry needs to take advantage of West Virginia and other coal country areas and bring in good non-coal jobs.

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