From the April 16 edition of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS:
FAREED ZAKARIA (HOST): Now for our What in the World segment. Welcome to Benham, Kentucky. Population here deep in the heart of coal country hovers around 500. The town has a coal miners’ park, a coal miners’ theater, and the Kentucky coal mining museum. Soon, there will be solar panels on the roof of the museum to power it in this town where King Coal has ruled for more than a hundred years. It is a sign of the times. Let’s look at some numbers: For decades, King Coal was the primary energy source for power generation in the United States. But since 2000, coal has been on a steady decline. So much so that in 2016, cheap and abundant natural gas surpassed coal as the dominant source for energy generation in the U.S. Renewables like wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric have also been on the rise and supply about 10 percent of U.S. energy needs. Which means coal mining jobs have become an endangered species.
There’s widespread agreement that coal is not going to suddenly come roaring back, nor will the jobs. Across the U.S., coal-fired plants are closing in record numbers. And until the economics change, the number of power plants using coal will keep falling. So why is Trump so stuck on coal? Well, according to a report from NPR, the answer may lie in the states where all those solar jobs are being created. The top six states generating the most solar industry employment all voted for Hillary Clinton. The states with the fewest amount of new solar jobs all went for Trump, including three key states, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, which flipped from Democrat to Republican in 2016. In any event, the revival of coal is one more false promise and fake prediction from Trump that just isn't going to happen.