defcon1959 comments on Coal jobs were lost to automation, not trade: "Coal wasn't killed by Obama's EPA. It was killed by cheap fracking gas (which Trump loves). You can build a town and a community around a coal mine that hires hundreds of workers. A fracking gas well head, on the other hand, is just two guys coming out every three months to perform monitoring and maintenance. Existing coal power plants are old and at the end of their operational lives, so everyone is planning to decommission them within the next decade. But gas is cheap and plentiful, so nobody is building new coal burning plants anymore, only combined cycle gas turbines. Entire nations such as Canada and France are banning coal use after 2020. And don't look for China and India to make up for demand. Coal use in both these nations has peaked.
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