The coal industry in Appalachia is dying – something that people there know better than anyone. Some in this region are pinning their hopes on alternative solutions, including rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal.
“Coal is over. Forget coal,” said Jimmy Simpkins, who worked as a coal miner in the area for 29 years. “It can never be back to what it was in our heyday. It can’t happen. That coal is not there to mine.”
A coal production forecast conducted in 2018 by the University of West Virginia estimates coal production will continue to decline over the next two decades.
Over 34,000 coal mining jobs in the US have disappeared over the past decade, leaving around 52,000 jobs remaining in the industry, despite several promises made by Donald Trump throughout his 2016 election campaign that he would bring those jobs back.