Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Possible Win for Coal Execs - No Change For Miners

One of the big lies that Fox and Donald Trump sold coal miners during the election was that Trump would bring back Coal Mining jobs.  And so this week, with great fanfare (the greatest fanfare, no one does fanfare like Donald Trump, you will love all the great fanfare that Donald Trump gives) President Trump signed an executive order rolling back Obama's coal restrictions.

But not really.  And it won't bring back any mining jobs.

Before you think I am thoughtlessly dumping on the Donald, hear me out.

Obama's "War on Coal" was NEVER implemented.  All the proposed rules were stayed by the court. NONE of the jobs lost to date were the result of a "War on Coal". So Donald's fancy executive order (look at my bigly signature) actually does nothing except tell the EPA to change the laws that haven't gone into effect.

The mining jobs lost were due to (1) automation. Coal companies moved from mining (via shafts) to mountain top  removal. That is where you cut the top off a mountain to get coal, and you dump the "waste" after you chemical wash the coal out of the dirt.  That waste is then dumped into the valleys where they cause toxic chemicals to leach into water used by people down river.

However, the CEOs of Coal companies will do better. The actual laws Donald Trump as repealed allow for easier mountain top removal (not mining). AND allows coal companies to dump all their tailings and waste into rivers and watersheds (our new and improved EPA). So that will remove jobs, but increase profits.

The mining jobs were lost to (2) cheaper forms of energy, particularly gas from fracking. Fracking hasn't gone away, in fact the new EPA rules make it easier because you don't have to worry about any methane waste anymore. Because Climate Change isn't proven to the new EPA. So gas will just get cheaper and price out MORE coal.

The mining jobs were lost to (3) clean energy in China.  China used to import a shitload of coal. Now, however, China has invested a ton in moving from Coal to nuclear, solar, wind, etc. China - with no EPA - where we are going - is tired of having hundreds of thousands of people a year die from pollution.

I hate that the photo op used miners as props, when this will really only help the major companies by lowering costs and regulations, and with lower regulations actually employ fewer people.

So this will restore cola mining jobs in the same manner that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower (sorry "wiretapped") and 3million illegal votes were cast and that Trump University is a seat of higher learning.