Turns out politicians do occasionally keep their promises. For example, in 2008 Obama vowed to “bankrupt” the coal industry by imposing massive fines on greenhouse gas emissions. Obama made the following comment to the San Francisco Chronicle in 2008:
“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted,”
In fact, six of America’s largest public coal mining companies, including Walter Energy, James River, Patriot Coal, Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal and Peabody Energy have all filed for bankruptcy over the past 2 years destroying billions in shareholder value and leaving 1,000s of people unemployed in Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Per BLS data, coal mining jobs in the U.S. peaked around 90,000 at the end of Obama’s first term but have since declined by over 42% to around 50,000 as mining companies have filed for bankruptcy and shuttered mines.
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