The mining and coal industries lost tens of thousands of jobs last year alone according to federal data, mostly due to federal regulations and low-priced natural gas.
Mark Perry, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, aggregated data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics into a chart.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics data aggregated by American Enterprise Institute
The job losses are due to rules and regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Interior.
A study published last April found the coal industry lost 50,000 jobs from 2008 to 2012 due to regulations and cheap natural gas. The “coal country” of Appalachia has been economically devastated and has very few job options for the now unemployed workers.
The situation for coal miners would likely get worse if Obama’s Clean Power Plan is implemented. The Energy Information Administration predicts that the plan would more than double the number of coal plants shutting down over the next five years. The shutdowns have a cascading effect, causing coal production to collapse even further, by more than 30 percent over the next decade.
President Barack Obama said coal miners’s opposition to the rules and regulations is “perfectly legitimate” during a December interview with National Public Radio.
The Obama administration offered a mere $14.5 million in federal funding for programs to retrain out-of-work coal miners, after imposing regulations that greatly hampered the American coal industry.
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