President Donald Trump repeatedly vowed to Appalachian voters that he would bring back coal jobs that he falsely claimed were being eliminated due to excessive environmental regulations being put in place by the Obama administration.
However, as the Washington Post reported on Thursday, Trump's administration hasn't stopped the closure of coal plants across the U.S.
According to the Post, the main culprit behind the closure of these plants isn't the Environmental Protection Agency, but rather that "coal can’t compete against cheaper, cleaner alternatives, such as natural gas and solar and wind energy."
In fact, reports the Post, "more coal plant capacity disappeared during Trump’s first two years in office than during President Barack Obama’s entire first term, and the closures are set to continue in 2019 and beyond."
Reacting to the continued decline of the coal industry, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is now arguing on Twitter that the damage that will be done to coal-producing states like West Virginia by Trump's health care policies is vastly greater than anything Trump could ever do to bring back the coal industry.
"With the new Trump effort to destroy the ACA, I'm thinking about West Virginia, where a lot of people gained insurance under the Medicaid expansion, but voted for Trump because he promised to bring back coal," he wrote. "So I made a little chart."
The chart shows the minuscule number of coal jobs added so far under Trump's presidency -- fewer than 5,000 in total -- and compares it with 140,000 people in West Virginia who are projected to lose access to health care should Trump succeed in overturning the ACA.
See the chart yourself below.
With the new Trump effort to destroy the ACA, I'm thinking about West Virginia, where a lot of people gained insura… https://t.co/Kr3JdW0jAg— Paul Krugman (@Paul Krugman)1553615161.0