New policies adding jobs

Liberals in the “we told you so” crowd frequently attempt to have their politics both ways. With President Donald Trump, they are gleeful in claiming he has not kept his promises to coal states — while neglecting to remind Americans many of the challenges facing fossil fuels are of liberals’ making.

During the election campaign, Trump pledged to end then-President Barack Obama’s war on coal and affordable electricity. He also said he would eliminate needless limits on natural gas and oil production.

Where, ask the liberals now, are all the coal jobs Trump allegedly promised?

A substantial number have materialized, in large measure because of renewed confidence among business people that coal no longer is an energy pariah. Since December, about 2,000 new coal mining jobs have been created. Coal production is tens of millions of tons ahead of what it was a year ago.

But there is more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics includes extraction of all resources, including coal, gas, oil, other minerals and timber, in its mining category for purposes of reporting employment. In June, the number of jobs in that class was up by 8,000. Since October, 56,000 jobs have been added in the broad mining category, with another 48,000 new ones in support positions.

Much of that boom is due to increased gas and oil activity, the BLS notes.

It will take time for the coal industry to recover — and it never will fully. But clearly, Trump’s policies toward fossil fuels in general are boosting employment, while adding to the nation’s energy security.

By Patricia Older

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