Roughly a year after Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States, the coal industry in America looks bleak and dying, going against something the president vowed he would fix and regrow. Claiming back during his campaign in 2016 that “We’re going to bring the coal industry back to 100%.”
Growth and job opportunities look dim as the United States continues to shut down coal powered plants and switch to cleaner and more efficient substitutes for energy such as natural gas, wind and solar.
These other energy options seem the better choice, as they will be presumably safer investments but also better for the environment and cheaper overall than coal.
While there has been some increase in the market, many believe this is due to a higher demand from foreign countries rather than efforts done by our President. Major electric and energy corporations throughout America have even stopped creating or investing in coal powered plants, believing that there are better as well as cleaner options.
Many believe that even though someone may promise to fix an industry, the factors go much further than just the views and decisions coming from the White House. These factors include supply and demand as well as the growth and availability of new technologies, such as wind and solar farms which you see popping up more frequently across the United States and elsewhere in the world.
United States coal production is expected to increase by 8% in 2017, but the predicted numbers for 2018 see it going down and decreasing for the years to follow. The foreign demand will fade and not be there every year, causing concern for coal companies and investors, but also a wake up call.
While some coal companies believe they can survive for the long run, they still need help. Experts predict that coal fired power plants will be down 30% by 2025, compared to the 2011 numbers.
Regardless of promises from the President, the coal industry is in decline and unless a new breakthrough happens or solar and wind energy fails, the future is not bright.