Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton heads to coal country Monday to begin a two-day tour of the region just weeks after promising to “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
Clinton will travel through Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio to build support for her presidential bid against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Clinton is trying to boost her support in coal country by releasing a $30 billion economic revitalization plan.
Clinton plans to replace coal mines with green energy and technology jobs and use legal action to make sure miners keep their pensions and healthcare if the company they work for goes bankrupt.
“Building a 21st century clean energy economy in the United States will create new jobs and industries, deliver important health benefits, and reduce carbon pollution,” according to a Clinton campaign factsheet.
Clinton’s plan to is little comfort when coupled with her promise to put coal miners out of business.
“We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” Clinton said in during a recent CNN town hall, talking about her plan to tackle global warming.
She made these remarks in the context of the funding she would send to coal country to stimulate local economies, but they seemed to echo comments made by then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008 about bankrupting the coal industry.
Her remarks couldn’t have come at a worst time for coal miners as more than 11,000 miners have lost their jobs in the last year alone. Appalachian coal miners have been hit the hardest because of higher costs, cheap natural gas and onerous federal regulations.
Kentucky, for example, lost 1,500 coal jobs in the first quarter of 2016 and coal production has plummeted 12.8 percent during that time as well. Kentucky now employs the fewest number of coal miners since 1898.
Clinton plans on adding more federal regulations against coal plants and mines. Her global warming plan involves boosting green energy use and phasing out coal from the economy. That’s why the former secretary of state has also proposed a $30 billion coal state welfare program.
Clinton will pay for job training programs, massive infrastructure projects, tax credits and expanding green energy production on federal lands.
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