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Immigration advocates criticize border policies after migrants die in a tractor-trailer, the U.S. opens a permanent headquarters for U.S. forces in Poland, and a House committee hears about growing housing inequity.

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Federal Figures Predict Little Boost to Coal Jobs from Trump Plan

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018   

CHARLESTON, W. Va. – President Donald Trump's visit to Charleston on Tuesday highlighted a plan to loosen carbon-pollution rules - but according to the federal government's own figures, that isn't likely to spark much growth in coal jobs.

Trump's plan would let states, instead of the Environmental Protection Agency, set carbon-emissions limits for power plants. That would likely all but end the Clean Power Plan here, but Ted Boettner, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, said federal predictions see little or no job impact from that.

So far, Boettner said, the administration hasn't had much impact on coal production at all.

"Coal jobs have slightly increased, but they are nowhere near where they were several years ago," he said, "and it does not look, going forward, that no matter, with or without the Clean Power Plan in West Virginia, coal jobs will dramatically increase or decrease."

Many state Republican candidates are running on the economic boost they see from ending what they call the "war on coal." But Boettner said coal production has barely moved so far, and the state economy is growing much more slowly than the United States overall.


The EPA has predicted that ending the Clean Power Plan would increase carbon emissions by about 3 percent nationally. Critics have said the total may be higher, between that and the Trump administration plans to roll back car and truck fuel-efficiency standards, with effects on public health and the environment.

The WVU predictions are online at
archive.epa.gov and the new EPA proposal is at epa.gov.


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