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Robert Reich: Trump’s Incredibly Dumb Bet On Coal – OpEd


When Donald Trump was running for president, he talked a lot about putting people back to work. And one of the industries he focused on most was the coal industry. He even put on a hard hat and waved around a pick axe to show how much he loved coal.

But there simply aren’t very many coal jobs to be had any more in the U.S. That’s not because of anything Obama did. Coal jobs are decreasing because demand for coal is decreasing, and because machines now do much of the work.

In 1985 the coal industry employed a over 178,000 miners. By 2016, it employed just 56,000.

By contrast, in 2016, wind and solar energy provided more than 6 times the number of jobs as coal. The trend is toward even more jobs in wind and solar, regardless of what Trump does.

Solar energy is exploding worldwide, an almost sixfold increase in just the last 5 years.  But America ranks fifth in the production of solar energy, behind China, Germany, Japan and Italy.

If we really want to lead – if we really want to join the New Energy Economy – we have to go with the energy of the future, not the energy of the past. The other option — the one Donald Trump is proposing – leaves us following, not leading.

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Robert Reich

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

One thought on “Robert Reich: Trump’s Incredibly Dumb Bet On Coal – OpEd

  • Avatar
    April 6, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    I though we were going to have a respite from this guy. And, of a sudden, he reappears from nowhere; our devilish Robby the Troll. Well, not from nowhere. He reappears from the fog of Commifornia where its’ politicians waste uninformed citizen’s tax dollars on him to recite odes to silliness for Bezerkly’s advanced embroidery students.
    That Wind and Sun shall replace carbon energy in any term is a first rate promise on which to construct disaster. Of course, our Mighty Midget would find it difficult to regurgitate reality, so his thesis remains as posited: preposterous!
    Dear Robby, the reason many are without work in the coal extraction industry is a product of your dear leader, Yomommy Obammy’s edict that somehow tides and the four seasons are caused by carbon dioxide and that evil substance must eliminated at all cost; including the jobs of those working in that nefarious industry.
    Troll, baby, you flog a dead horse.
    You lost, the people won…get over it.


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