Coal towns see hope for comeback as Trump ends ‘war’

MADISON, W.Va. – In West Virginia’s bucolic Boone County, there are scattered reminders everywhere of better days – a tattered American flag, dusty swing sets and metal chimes blowing in the wind.

A decade ago, this coal community was thriving. It led the nation in mining jobs, had a vibrant economy and was giving back to its people.

Then a wave of environmental regulations hit, along with an overall shift toward other forms of energy. Aimed at cutting out coal in favor of wind and solar, the changes had devastating effects on towns built around the industry.

“It’s been heartbreaking,” Kris Mitchell, director at Boone County Community and Economic Development Corp., told Fox News. “It impacted every level.”

20 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • Webb says:

    Hopefully this action by President Trump will bring back some jobs to Coal Country…and reinstate some of the Coal-fired power plants…
    JOBS…as Promised!!

    1. Herschel Weintraub says:

      Natural gas is cheaper than coal today. Other nations are eliminating coal fired power plants. The coal mining jobs will not be back. Trump deceived the miners to get their votes. All a big con job.

      1. Webb says:

        Natural Gas cheaper…I agree.
        As for coal miners jobs coming back neither you nor I have a crystal ball…A promise kept by Trump.
        China, India or other nations can always use Coal…therefore JOBS!
        By the way ask Germany how Wind and Solar worked out…

        1. Pete says:

          Wind generation systems , due to their generators being several hundred feet above ground, have an inordinately high maintenance cost compared to other methods. Cranes large enough to lift a generator half the size of an eighteen wheeler up to three hundred feet in the air do not come cheap.

          1. Herschel Weintraub says:

            Have you not seen the huge wind farms in Texas and California and Oklahoma and other states? Wind and sun are free energy sources. And unlimited.

          2. Pete says:

            It is simply a mater of economics. When the life cycle cost of a wind generation system becomes compatible with coal or natural gas systems life cycle cost, wind power will become viable without government monetary support. Until it’s long term maintenance costs of wind generation are reduced, wind will remain a minor energy source.

        2. Herschel Weintraub says:

          China is phasing out coal. There goes the market. Coal mining jobs are not coming back. The mines now operating with ever increasing automation. No matter what Trump says, he cannot bring these jobs back. Get real.

      2. Pete says:

        Electric devices depend on the production of that electricity with only wind & water being even a remotely economical non carbon generating source.

        “US Energy Information Administration” report, as reported by the New York Times at the end of 2011.

        Cost per Kilowatt Hour were as follows:

        Natural Gas $0.066
        Hydro-electric $0.086
        Coal $0.095
        Solar Photovoltaic $2.11
        Solar Thermal $3.12
        Wind Power $0.099 to $0.12 depending on geographical location.

        At the end of 2016 costs ratios had changed very little

        1. Herschel Weintraub says:

          Your table shoes that coal is nearly twice the cost of natural gas. So coal is on the way out. Solar and wind are getting cheaper as time goes on. When we have large areas of the country with ample wind or sun, why not utilize it to reduce our dependence of fossil fuels. Nobody is saying that solar and wind will replace fossil fuel. But with electric cars and other tech, renewable energy along with oil are all needed.

          1. Pete says:

            Coal is not going away, at least for the next decade or so. When the horrendous maintenance costs associated with the wind generation programs now in use are solved, wind power (without heavy governmental financial intervention) may have a chance to become a major source.

          2. Herschel Weintraub says:

            Coal is going away. China is moving away from coal rapidly. No us coal fired plants have been built in many years. Existing coal plants are being retired. California produces a tremendous amount of their energy from renewable sources.

            Norway (I believe it was Norway, possibly another Scandinavian country) produced all of their power for a couple of days using totally renewable sources.

            Coal jobs are not coming back. Neither are heavy manufacturing jobs. Trump can’t reverse automation. Electric vehicles are becoming affordable and are getting decent ranges.

            Get with the future.

          3. dmttbt says:

            I hope you are using solar and finding all the expenses acceptable. Most people cannot afford the solar or wind energy you speak of as being the reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. That statement was always foreign oil. We do not have to rely on foreign fossil and the prices have come down.

          4. Herschel Weintraub says:

            Even China and India are going solar and wind. Trump is destroying the leadership role of America in the world. That role now goes to China and Germany. Hope you enjoy living in a third world country. That’s Trump’s America.

          5. Askjrsk says:

            You have table shoes?

      3. Askjrsk says:

        Yes you are From a skit

  • justinwachin says:

    President Obama was going to bring new jobs to the areas harmed by his environmental decrees. Just like the rest of America, these once prosperous communities experienced first hand the economic failure of the Obama policies.

    1. Etheljrutledge says:

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    2. Herschel Weintraub says:

      Sorry, but you suppositions are unfounded. Obama restored our economy from the brink of collapse created by Bush. The manufacturing jobs done by humans have been replaced by robotics. Nothing to do with Obama’s policies.

      In addition to automation, jobs are being eliminated by pressure from greedy Wall Street traders. Requiring unsustainable growth, quarter over quarter, leads to layoffs, automation, and off-shoring in order to maintain artificial growth.

      Try to see the real factors related to jobs.

      1. justinwachin says:

        This story was about the coal towns being decimated by President Obama’s policies. I think much of the coal mining is still being done by people. Yes, they have equipment but that has always been the case.

        Mr. Obama’s environmental policies basically shut down many coal plants. With fewer coal customers the demand for coal fell, coal companies laid off workers and many coal producers shut down. That has nothing to do with automation. It was caused by the policies of President Obama.

        All isn’t lost. President Obama became so unpopular in Kentucky that the state’s Republicans now occupy more positions in the state than any time since 1921. President Obama was bad for coal companies but good for Republican office seekers.

        1. Herschel Weintraub says:

          Coal mining is mostly automated. The massive mountain top mines, where they basically cut the top of the mountain off (quite devastating to the environment and ugly), use very few humans. One of the largest such mines is operated by 25 people.

          Coal mining is not coming back. China and India are cancelling hundreds of planned coal fired plants.

          The appropriate thing to do for miners is to fund education and training to enable them to have a future in more technological careers. Maintaining and deploying robotics, for example.

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