Trump Digs Coal: 50 Coal Plants Have Closed On His Watch
During the 2016 election, and on many occasions since, President Donald Trump spoke about his support for traditional industries like coal and steel. He promised that jobs in the coal industry would come back, defying the move to more environmentally friendly energy sources.
A new report from the Sierra Club says 50 coal-fired power plants have closed since Trump took office in January, 2017. The environmental group noted that there have been 51 announcements of closures in that time, and the numbers are telling.
Just this week, two other coal plants, in Florida and Utah, said they would close. It usually takes a number of years for coal plants to wind up operations, but the loss of coal burning power plants under Trump is in direct contrast with his rhetoric about traditional jobs.
Just one new coal-fired plant has opened since 2017, in Alaska. It is a distinct outlier. There is a long-term decline in the use of coal to generate electricity. It is bad for the environment and increasingly economically costly. But Trump has pushed his support for the industry.
“We’re seeing a rush to the exit door from the coal industry and utilities, because the economics don’t work out,” Jonathan Levenshus of the Sierra Club said. He also accused President Trump of ‘false promises.’