Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

New Coal Mine Opens, Employs Just 70 People

Popular
New Coal Mine Opens, Employs Just 70 People

Is this what Donald Trump meant when he campaigned on being the "greatest jobs president that God ever created"?

The president celebrated the 70 whole jobs created by the Acosta mine in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, the nation's newest coal mine.


"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.

Producing avocado and almond crops is having a detrimental effect on bees. Molly Aaker / Getty Images

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.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An oblique (left) and dorsal (right) photo of a female Pharohylaeus lactiferous. J.B. Dorey / Journal of Hymenoptera Research

Australia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. It is home to more than 7% of all the world's plant and animal species, many of which are endemic. One such species, the Pharohylaeus lactiferus bee, was recently rediscovered after spending nearly 100 years out of sight from humans.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Scientists believe sharks use bioluminescence to camouflage themselves. Jérôme Mallefet

Scientists have newly photographed three species of shark that can glow in the dark, according to a study published in Frontiers in Marine Science last month.

Read More Show Less
A FedEx truck travels along Interstate 10 by the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm near Palm Springs, California on Feb. 27, 2019. Robert Alexander / Getty Images

FedEx's entire parcel pickup and delivery fleet will become 100 percent electric by 2040, according to a statement released Wednesday. The ambitious plan includes checkpoints, such as aiming for 50 percent electric vehicles by 2025.

Read More Show Less
Empty freeways, such as this one in LA, were a common sight during COVID-19 lockdowns in spring 2020. vlvart / Getty Images

Lockdown measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic had the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by around seven percent, or 2.6 billion metric tons, in 2020.

Read More Show Less