The March 19 Business article “Coal in the Trump age ” rushed to accentuate the negatives for an industry that is recovering from a multiyear trough. The coal sector has been devastated by lower demand and job loss in recent years as regulations have significantly increased the cost of coal for electricity generation and industrial use, made it less competitive against other fuels and resulted in many coal power plants closing.
Energy markets went through periods of extreme weakness in the post-recession years because of a tepid economy and slow growth. The article pointed out bankruptcies and job losses in coal, but they also occurred in oil and natural gas.
The United States is privileged to have abundant domestic fossil energy resources. Enabling their responsible development and use is a key tenet of the new administration. President Trump recognizes the importance of energy security and the value of energy diversity. Coal is essential to affordable, reliable electricity for Americans.
Mr. Trump has quickly begun to address regulatory relief and reform, as he said he would. Congress recently eradicated one of the most punitive coal regulations, the stream rule. Other anticipated actions to reduce bureaucracy and excessive regulation would not instantly translate to more coal jobs but would provide the opportunity for coal to compete and grow again. That’s a great place to start after the years of a playing field purposely tilted against coal.