WAYNESBURG, Pa. (Reuters) – When Mike Sylvester entered a career training center earlier this year in southwestern Pennsylvania, he found more than one hundred federally funded courses covering everything from computer programming to nursing.
He settled instead on something familiar: a coal mining course.
”I think there is a coal comeback,” said the 33-year-old son of a miner.
Despite broad consensus about coal’s bleak future, a years-long effort to diversify the economy of this hard-hit region away from mining is stumbling, with Obama-era jobs retraining classes undersubscribed and future programs at risk under President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget.
Trump has promised to revive coal by rolling back environmental regulations and moved to repeal Obama-era curbs on carbon emissions from power plants.
“I have a lot of faith in President Trump,” Sylvester said.
You, sir, are an idiot and I am tired of being asked to feel sorry for you.
Coal is not coming back. Certainly not in any significant way. Definitely not in any long-term, community-building way. It’s that free-hand-of-the-market thing you guys are always yammering on about. Technology has made other energy sources cheaper. It’s not environmentalists and tree huggers doing this (last I checked, those folks were pretty staunchly against fracking), it’s just good ol’ fashioned economics.
So. Read the writing on the wall:
“production levels remain near lows hit in 1978”
… and take advantage of the help being sent your way. Or, don’t:
“…120 people have signed up for jobs retraining outside the mines, far short of the target of 700…”
“I can’t even get them to show up for free food I set up in the office,” said Dave Serock, an ex-miner who recruits in Fayette County for Southwest Training Services.
Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people? Is this nostalgia for days gone by? Republicans are going to cut funding for all of these job training programs. Now is the time to take advantage of the help being offered because it will be gone next year. The turd in the White House does not give a shit about “coal country” or workers beyond using their plight to stoke further divisions in the country. Wake the hell up.