Last fall, Hillary Clinton laid out a very detailed plan on how she as president would help the coal country transition from coal to other industries.
Hillary Clinton’s Plan for Revitalizing Coal Communities
"Hillary Clinton is committed to meeting the climate change challenge as President and making the United States a clean energy superpower. At the same time, she will not allow coal communities to be left behind—or left out of our economic future. That’s why Clinton announced a $30 billion plan to ensure that coal miners and their families get the benefits they’ve earned and respect they deserve, to invest in economic diversification and job creation, and to make coal communities an engine of US economic growth in the 21st century as they have been for generations."
You can click on the link and read the details. Characteristic of the effort she puts into forward thinking on everything, her plan addresses all aspects of coal community redevelopment. It should have resonated with the voters in West Virginia, a state that she won over Barack Obama in 2008. It is based on reality in the sense that coal mining jobs lost are not coming back. However, in March she made a poor choice of words in talking about her program to help the coal mining communities: “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” Those words were taken out of context from a longer discussion that included these words:
“We’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people,” Clinton said. “Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories. Now we’ve got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels, but I don’t want to move away from the people who did the best they could to produce the energy that we relied on.”
Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has no detailed proposals for coal country other than his statement made to voters on May 5th:
“While I strongly believe we need to combat climate change to make our planet habitable for our children and our grandchildren, let me be clear: We cannot abandon communities that have been dependent on coal and other fossil fuels,” he said, according to prepared remarks of his speech. “In my view, we have got to invest $41 billion rebuilding coal mining communities and making sure that Americans in McDowell County and all over this country receive the job training they need for the clean energy jobs of the future.”
I searched and could not find any details of the $41 billion plan on Bernie's website. If someone can find it, let me know.
Donald Trump, meanwhile, has promised to bring back coal mining jobs. None of this nonsense about rebuilding the communities. Just bring back the coal mining jobs. Quoting Trump:
"We're going to get those miners back to work ... the miners of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, which was so great to me last week, Ohio and all over are going to start to work again, believe me. They are going to be proud again to be miners."
Hillary is not very good at politics. She is wonderful in doing the deep thinking about how to make things really work without making promises. She lost West Virginia to Sanders, and she will probably lose West Virginia in the general election to Trump, whose promises even beat those of Sanders. All coal miners want is their jobs back, and that's what Trump is promising.
Politics is not fair.