Is this what Donald Trump meant when he campaigned on being the "greatest jobs president that God ever created"?
"When I ended the 'war on coal,' I said I would put our incredible miners—and that's what you are, incredible—back to work," Trump said after the mine opened last Thursday, likely forgetting that his budget slashes 40 percent, or about $1 billion, from federal job training programs.
Corsa Coal Company CEO George Dethlefsen said 400 people applied for the 70 positions available at the new mine.
Dethlefsen said the mine will help the area's struggling economy but as Quartz pointed out that's "significantly fewer than the 92 jobs created by the opening of one American supermarket on average."
Most of the coal isn't even staying in the country. According to PennLive, "as for where the coal ultimately ends up, as much as 85 percent could be exported overseas to make steel in countries such as South Korea, Turkey, Egypt and Brazil, Corsa officials say."
Even though Dethlefsen praised Trump for easing regulations and encouraging fossil fuel exploration, FactCheck.org reported that the administration had nothing to do with the Acosta mine opening as development began in September, or before the 2016 election.
"The opening of the Acosta mine has nothing to do with U.S. federal policy," Trevor Houser, a partner with the economic research company Rhodium Group, told FactCheck. That's because the mine produces metallurgical coal, which is used for iron and steel-making, whereas thermal coal is used for energy generation.
As FactCheck explained, about 90 percent of U.S. coal production is thermal coal "and it has not been doing well at all in recent years," with coal consumption down nearly 18 percent between 2012 and 2016. And while Trump has added about 1,000 total coal jobs since taking office, the current number of coal mining jobs, 51,000, is 43 percent lower than in January 2012.
Meanwhile, America's clean energy jobs have soared, with solar employment expanding 17 times faster than the overall economy and wind turbine technicians are expected to be the fastest-growing occupation over the next 10 years.
However, it's unclear how long this growth might last with Trump's proposal to cut about 70 percent from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's budget.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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