For eight years, Sen. Mitch McConnell has blamed President Obama and the EPA for the loss of coal jobs in Appalachia. But just three days after the election, when Republicans gained control of the White House and Congress and had no one left to blame, he admitted that repealing environmental protections may not lead to more mining jobs. Duh.
The “War on Coal” is a fiction created by coal companies to gain whatever profit they can in a dying industry. Repealing carbon capture regulations, mortgaging the future of our planet, will not bring large numbers of mining jobs back to Eastern Kentucky. Ever. The economics are just not there.
Democrats and Republicans should work together on imaginative solutions for rural areas adversely affected by the changing world economy. There are so many new ideas in clean energy, recycled materials, infrastructure, etc. Rather than spending time and tax dollars propping up old industries, (and in the case of coal, one that has not been kind either to its workers or their communities) we could be moving forward.
The future is coming, with or without Kentucky aboard. I only wish our leaders were farsighted enough to see that and act on it.