During the 2016 election campaign, Donald Trump promised to revitalize the coal industry and increase jobs in the sector – something quite peculiar, given that historically miners had never voted for the Republican Party. Thanks to those promises, many coal workers voted for Trump in the stop’ year election, particularly in the states of West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.
At the end of his term as president, it can be said that Trump has not been able to keep his promises, mostly because of the increase in the production of energy from renewable sources, which are increasingly competitive, the drop in gas prices and partly also because of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Peter Shulman, historian at Case Western Reserve University and author of the book Coal and Empire, in reality Trump never had any accurate measures in mind to revitalize the industry: he merely chose the coal sector as a political symbol of his campaign.
In four years of Trump’s presidency, coal production has suffered the biggest decline since 1932: down 34%. It is estimated that in 2020 only 20% of electricity produced in the United States will come from coal: in 2017 the percentage was 31%, in 2010 45%.
In the first years of the Trump presidency, from 2016 to 2018, coal industry jobs had increased slightly, although they had not reached the levels of 2010-2012 In 2019, employment had fallen again and there were 779