Understanding The Shrinking Coal Industry Using Republican Economic Ideology

By Emily Chambers | Last Week Tonight | June 19, 2017 |


- The U.S. coal industry absolutely must be saved because of the millions of jobs and energy independence it offers. This remains true even in the face of evidence that the coal industry actually employs about 76,000.

- Regulation has led to significantly decreased coal demand, which is why deregulation is so necessary. Natural gas isn’t as profitable, and other energy methods don’t exist.

- Clean coal is totally a thing.

- Also the coal deregulation will greatly benefit the actual coal miners and not the coal mining company owners.

- Deregulation is the answer to all of the mining industry’s ailments because the reduction in cost will lead to increased competition, and therefore more jobs at higher wages. It should be noted, anti-trust cases never lead to increased competition, and are therefore useless.

- Because regulation, and not other less expensive sources of energy, is the reason that the coal industry is shrinking, offering job retraining programs in order to make those millions tens of thousands of coal workers employable in other fields is a waste of tax dollars. Also a waste of tax dollars is any social service program that would offer financial assistance to pay for rent expenses, education, health care, child care, or food to unemployed or underemployed coal miners.

- Infrastructure spending in the form of improving transportation and communication services that might allow unemployed coal workers to find jobs in nearby areas is also definitely a waste of tax dollars.

- Something, something, something, China’s doing it.

- Listen, coal company owners deeply care for and about their employees. They’re doing everything in their power to keep the coal mine doors open in order to continue the employment of said miners. It’s just that part of keeping the doors open requires reducing work safety conditions to a point where the product is profitable. And also reducing the number of coal miners being employed because they can’t keep the doors open for everyone. And executives need to be paid large enough salaries in order to keep them in the current positions, because who wants to poison the lungs of their employees for nothing, amirite?

- The coal industry is more important than just the number of people it employs or the product it creates. Coal is about the common man being able to do a hard day’s work, and come home to his nuclear family for which he is able to care. Coal represents a period in American history that reflects a simpler time when things like economic strife, social injustice, and other countries didn’t exist. A time when working for too many years only to die too early was a fair trade off for a comfortably middle-class existence. Provided, of course, you’re a straight, white man. Coal’s imaginary history isn’t just about Republicans’ economic policies, it’s their entire identity. And a thing like that is just too important to let it be taken down by a thing like facts.



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