During Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, he spoke of the many grandeur plans he had to reverse the so-called damage that had been done to our country. These campaign promises included tax breaks for the working middle class, repealing Obamacare and ending the war on coal. From what we can see, Trump ultimately failed to enact these policies. The biggest letdown by far has been to fund the United States coal industry.
For someone who is supposed to be funding the coal industry, it is mind-boggling how he has planned out his new budget. In Trump’s budget proposal from May, he decreased the funding for the Energy Department’s clean coal program by 55 percent. He also showed his lack of concern for environmental protection by withdrawing The United States from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
Trump had a mouthful to say concerning the coal industry. He claims that the Obama Administration demoralized the industry with too many restrictions. Trump declared that he would bring back coal mining jobs; another promise that he repeatedly chanted at his rallies.
Trump typically would preach this sentiment at his campaigns in rural West Virginia towns, whose economies rely on the coal mining industry to stay afloat. Trump claims to have added 45,000 coal mining jobs since the beginning of his term. In reality, the number of coal jobs have only grown by 1,200.
This withdrawal comes as no surprise, yet his plan of action is confusing. In addition to lacking support for coal, Trump has also rolled back dozens of regulations enacted by The Environmental Protection Agency. He has lied about wanting to support the dying coal industry, yet has lacked any real funding for other kinds of power.
If Trump does not want to fund the coal industry, then he should be funding the Environmental Protection Agency. Burning coal is a danger for our environment, and funding clean energy would be more beneficial in a long-term financial way, as well as in an environmental one. Instead, he should shift the funding towards the EPA, and fund alternative energy sources.
There are both positives and negatives to the situation. Coal burning is not healthy for our environment. Pollutants have made their way into our sewer systems, air, and homes. These irritants are harmful to our health. Studies have been shown that link breathing problems such as asthma to increased pollution from coal burning. The rollbacks will almost definitely have a positive effect on the environment, and the health of citizens.
On the negative side, he has given false hope to those in the coal mining industry. Trump ran his presidential platform targeting vulnerable American workers. He made them believe that his main priority was bringing jobs back to coal. In reality, their jobs will soon be close to obsolete.
The need for clean energy is growing by the year. This leads to companies competing to have their services used by seeking out these alternatives such as solar energy and wind turbines.
Wind turbines are cost efficient and solar rays are organically produced in nature. Whereas coal burning has a higher cost, releases harmful chemicals into the air, and can be dangerous for the workers. Trump not supporting the coal industry is a good thing. It is vital that he shifts his focus to helping the EPA.
This increase in environmental awareness leads to coal miners losing their jobs and not being able to sufficiently support their families. This of course is not the ideal outcome; no one deserves to lose their livelihood from uncontrollable factors. Unfortunately, it has to be done. If no action is taken by Trump to fund the EPA then the U.S. will continue to negatively contribute to climate change.
The real issue is that cutting coal will lead to inevitable shift towards green energy. Yet, the cuts to the EPA also deprive many green energy sources of their funding. The energy industry is vital to the health of the population, yet Trump does not seem to be interested in funding either. The best decision would be to fund green energy, but it is necessary that he fund one or the other.
This is a worldwide issue. Mr. Trump: drop the ignorance and pick up a pen. It is time you signed the check.