Following Mine Closing, Trump Will Have Only Created 130 New Coal Jobs

Screengrab/LesGrossman News/YouTube

Trump's first year in office saw the addition of just 500 coal jobs, and the mine closing will cost 370.

President Donald Trump has promised on numerous occasions that he will bring back coal jobs, telling those in the coal industry that they finally have a friend in the White House.

But according to CNN Money, the industry saw meager growth last year, with a 1 percent increase totaling just 500 new jobs.

Now a new setback: the closure of the 4 West Mine near the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border will result in more than half of those jobs disappearing. 370 people will be out of work.

Nearly 200 of the workers will lose their jobs on March 2. Most of the remaining workers will be laid off by June 1, once they are done removing equipment.

The decision is a blow for Greene County, a rural area of only about 38,000 people. The mine is the fourth largest private sector employer in the county, according to the state figures. Unemployment now stands at 5.2%, somewhat above the national average, but there aren't many jobs in the region that offer similar pay.

The mine rests in an area that went big for Trump in the 2016 election, largely due to belief that he would inject new energy into the coal mining industry.

"They voted for Trump because he said he'd bring back coal. It's not happening," said Zimmerman, a Democrat. "There's not been any significant change in the industry since he's taken over."

Just this week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shot down a Trump administration proposal to subsidize both coal and nuclear power plants.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry argued there was a need to improve the resilience of the nation's power grid from severe weather. But critics said it was simply a bailout for forms of energy that were no longer economically competitive. Most of the members of FERC had been appointed by Trump.