MSNBC’s Cal Perry Debunks Trump’s Claim That His Executive Order To Undo Clean Power Plan Will Bring Back Coal Jobs

Perry: “The Idea That What's Bad For The Environment Is Good For The Economy, Or Vice Versa, Doesn't Make A Lot Of Sense”

From the March 28 edition of MSNBC Live

Video file

CRAIG MELVIN (ANCHOR): Let's turn back to climate change. We'll talk a little bit about how this climate change order might affect the markets, but let's get a reality check on how it is going to affect the rest of America. For that I'm joined by MSNBC's Cal Perry. So the president has really been focused on coal for some time now. What do we know about how much our country actually relies on coal?

CAL PERRY: We don't rely on coal anymore. And in fact, a week ago -- I want to read you a quote. In Ohio, they're shutting down two coal plants and the quote from the company is, “It has become clear that without significant changes in market conditions, the plants will not be economically viable.” One of those conditions is --

MELVIN: So that’s a coal company acknowledging that coal is dying.

PERRY: A week ago. Right, shutting down two plants. And one of those market conditions is, we use gas. Gas is cheap. We use natural gas. Natural gas is also cheap. So we're looking now at coal being the third, the number three, energy source in this country. That hasn't always been true. Used to be number one.

MELVIN: And to be clear again, it's not as if coal is trending up. Coal is trending down.

PERRY: Coal trend -- totally down. I mean, almost flatlining. You talked in your A block a little bit about West Virginia, right? We always talk about West Virginia. So I pulled some Montana -- look at this, Wyoming. Wyoming is a place where we mine for a lot of coal. I mean, it's dropped almost to zero. And all this before today’s executive order.


PERRY: We're looking at 70,000 jobs via coal compared to over 650,000 from renewable energy. So it is low hanging political fruit as one of your guests earlier --

MELVIN: As we were talking about. So this assessment that [Trump is] going to be bringing coal jobs back to places like West Virginia --

PERRY: It's not accurate. And the idea that what's bad for the environment is good for the economy, or vice versa, also doesn't really make a lot of sense, because technology plays a huge part in this. You could have more coal plants and they’re going to be run by machines.


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