Coal Tattoo

President-elect Trump’s coal con

A group of coal miners wave signs for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as they wait for a rally in Charleston, W.Va., Thursday, May 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)


We had another story over the weekend examining what the outcome of last week’s presidential election might mean for West Virginia’s coal industry, and more importantly for the coalfield communities that are hurting in the wake of mining’s inevitable decline.

At the same time, there were remarkable reports out of both of the major papers in Kentucky that are worth reading.

First, here’s the Courier-Journal:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hedged on Friday about when and if Republicans would be able to bring coal mining jobs to Kentucky, saying that is a “private sector activity.”

“We are going to be presenting to the president a variety of options that could end this assault,” McConnell said. “Whether that immediately brings business back, that’s hard to tell because this is a private sector activity.”

And there’s this even more remarkable line from the Herald-Leader:

 The interim president of the Kentucky Coal Association was more direct about the future of coal mining in Eastern Kentucky.

“I would not expect to see a lot of growth because of the Trump presidency,” Nick Carter said in an interview. “If there is any growth in Eastern Kentucky, it will be because of an improved economy for coal.”

So, basically, all those politicians and industry officials and career campaign consultants who spent most of the campaign trying to convince the hard-working people of the coalfields that another boom would be just around the corner … Well, I guess we were supposed to take them seriously, but not literally.