U.S. coal shipping hits 35-year low despite administration promise to “make coal great again”
02/18/2020 // Ethan Huff // Views

All along the campaign trail, then-candidate Donald Trump reassured residents of West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other coal states that he would be bringing back this fossil fuel industry, which the previous administration had largely obliterated. But Trump's "make coal great again" promises aren't panning out as many had hoped, with coal shipping in the United States' heartland plummeting to 35-year lows.

While there have been some accomplishments in terms of opening new coal plants, especially early on in Trump's presidency, the situation has since devolved into a type of economic mayhem as far as coal producers stateside are concerned.

In Minnesota, for instance, the Twin Ports of Duluth-Superior recorded its lowest cargo volumes in three decades for the 2019 shipping season. Greg Nemet, a professor of public affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison says it's because demand for renewable energy has increased substantially in recent years, furthering coal's alleged obsolescence. But coal is still a major source of fuel both here and abroad, not to mention the fact that we're in the throes of winter, a season that naturally requires more energy usage.

Trump himself tweeted back in the early days of his presidency that the coal industry is "indestructible," adding that "coal is back." This was followed by the opening of a new coal mine in Pennsylvania back in 2017, which Trump bragged was the first new coal mine to open during his time in office.

But since that time, the coal industry has suffered tremendously, and we have yet to hear a peep about it from this administration. Last year, there was a massive bankruptcy wave that absolutely devastated coal, including the more recent collapse of Peabody, the world's largest coal producer. And since 2008, coal production has plunged from 1.2 billion tons per year to about 597 million tons last year.


Is Trump to blame for all this? Not necessarily. But he did promise that this type of thing would never happen under his watch, even though it now is – and most of his supporters probably don't even know it's happening because of all the newest and latest distractions that dominate the mainstream media headlines.

While Trump has been busy worrying about his own reputation in light of the impeachment proceedings, the people who voted him into office in otherwise "blue" states where coal, steel, and other suffering industries exist, aren't getting what he promised them, which is at least worth a mention.

Now the Trump administration is saying that he never intended to save the coal industry, but simply to make what's still left of it "cleaner"

Amazingly, the Trump administration is now backtracking on Trump's earlier promise to, and we quote, "put our coal miners back to work."

In a recent statement to the Atlantic Council, Department of Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette admitted that:

"Coal as a percentage of U.S. electricity generation is declining and will probably continue to decline for some time. The effort that we're undertaking is not to subsidize the industry and preserve their (sic) status, if you will, as a large electricity generator. It is simply to make the product cleaner and to look for alternative uses for this product."

This isn't what Trump said while campaigning, of course, when he promised people who were out of a job that their jobs would be coming back. It's merely a re-write, or an "alternative" set of facts, if you will, being presented as part of the ever-changing White House narrative concerning Trump's "promises made, promises kept" slogan.

"The hopes of a coal rebound were all for election purposes," is how Zero Hedge puts it. "The industry is imploding, as it's clear that, according to Trump, the stock market is more important than the real economy."

For more related news, be sure to check out Trump.news.

Sources for this article include:

ZeroHedge.com 1

ZeroHedge.com 2


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