As he announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, President Trump said he was putting American jobs ahead of the needs and desires of other countries.
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he said Thursday.
Trump said the agreement was “very unfair” for the U.S., especially the U.S. coal industry. And he alluded to some recent good news for the battered industry: the development of new mines.
“The mines are starting to open up, having a big opening in two weeks. Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, so many places. A big opening of a brand-new mine. It’s unheard of. For many, many years that hasn’t happened. They asked me if I’d go. I’m going to try.”
Yes, mines are beginning to open up, including a new one in Pennsylvania. But that doesn’t reverse the overall decline of the coal mining industry from its glory days.
The coal mines that are opening up produce a special kind of coal used in steelmaking and are opening largely because of events unrelated to federal policy, experts say. The market for the kind of coal used in electricity — the biggest use for coal — remains down relative to where it was several years ago.