Can coal make a comeback under President Trump?

President Trump has painted himself as the savior of America’s coal industry in addition to the countless miners who have been crushed by its demise.

“For those miners, get ready because you’re going to be working your asses off,” Trump said in a May 2016 speech in front of a crowd holding up “Trump digs coal” signs.

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While Trump has moved to rip up regulations burdening the coal industry, his most senior economic aide doesn’t look like he’s jumping on the coal train.

“Coal doesn’t even make which much sense anymore as a feedstock,” Gary Cohn said, aboard Air Force One on Thursday, referring to raw materials which get converted into a fuel.

Cohn, who serves as director of the White House National Economic Council, instead praised natural gas as “such a cleaner fuel” — in addition to one which America has become an “abundant producer of.”

While Trump rarely talks up the potential of renewable energy, Cohn sounds like a fan.

“If you think about how solar in addition to how much wind power we’ve created from the United States, we can be a manufacturing powerhouse in addition to still be environmentally friendly,” Cohn said.

Related: Why Trump’s coal promises are doomed

Cohn’s comments stand out, although not because they are inaccurate. They jive with what energy experts have been saying for some time. the item’s just which Cohn’s comments sound like ones which were written by President Obama’s speechwriters, not Trump’s.

The White House didn’t respond to questions about whether Cohn’s remarks signal a shift in Trump’s energy in addition to environmental policies.

Cohn’s words are especially significant, because Trump is actually supposed to soon decide whether to keep the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, which is actually forcing governments in many countries to crack down on the carbon emissions by coal in addition to some other fossil fuels. World leaders, Democrats in addition to some major companies have urged Trump not to ditch the landmark deal which represents the most significant effort to date to combat climate change.

“He’s heard arguments which are persuasive on both sides. They’re both not bad arguments,” Cohn said about the Paris accord.

Trump’s love for coal helped his vote totals from the Rust Belt which carried him to victory last November. the item didn’t help which his opponent, Hillary Clinton, badmouthed coal by promising to “put a lot of coal miners in addition to coal companies out of business.”

Related: Solar jobs growing 17 times faster than US economy

By contrast, Trump followed through on his promise to end Obama’s “war on coal” by signing an executive order in March which started out undoing the last administration’s signature efforts on climate change.

The problem is actually which Trump’s deregulation push is actually unlikely to bring about the coal renaissance he wants. which’s because coal’s dramatic downfall has come not by regulations, although has been driven by market forces, especially the abundance of cheap natural gas.

An in-depth study by Columbia University concluded which “Trump’s efforts to roll back environmental regulations will not materially improve economic conditions in America’s coal communities.”

The academics urged Trump to focus on ways to retrain coal workers in addition to safeguard their health benefits instead of offering “false expect which the glory days can be revived.”

sy88pgw (completely new York) First published May 26, 2017: 4:29 PM ET


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