The Corner

Hillary: I’ll Put Coal Miners and Coal Companies ‘Out of Business’

As the saying goes, “A ‘gaffe’ is when a politician accidently tells the truth.”

In that case, put Hillary Clinton down as a truth teller, at least for the moment. At a CNN town-hall event Sunday night, the Democratic front runner made clear that a Clinton administration would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

Clinton made sure to mention “those people [who] 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.”

How does Hillary plan to help out former coal miners and coal-industry workers after she’s put them “out of business”? Renewable-energy projects, of course.

Oh, and there will be some government pork to help out all the newly unemployed.

As I noted in January when the New York Times reported the Obama administration was planning to spend as much as $1 billion over five years on “programs to reclaim and redevelop retired coal mines and for different economic activities” in coal country:

In short, the administration is admitting that federal coal policy will destroy the livelihoods of thousands of Americans and the (already precarious) economic foundations of their communities. But the government plans on throwing a few extra dollars their way to keep everyone quiet. …

$1 billion over five years? Who would have ever thought that an American presidential administration could buy and sell an entire sector of the American economy so cheap? The Obama administration has now moved on to soothingly telling the American people, “Don’t worry, if you don’t make your living from coal, this won’t affect you in any way. We wouldn’t dream of going after your industry.” Yet.

I’m sure coal miners — average yearly income $82,058 — appreciate Hillary’s concern and her commitment to finding new employment opportunities for them after she’s handed out the pink slips. But maybe they’d prefer to, ya know, keep their jobs.

I haven’t worked in a coal mine, but I did spend 14 months roughnecking in the West Texas oil fields after college — and I can tell you plain that the men out there aren’t looking for a handout or sympathy from Hillary Clinton. All they want is the opportunity to work hard and make a good living for their families.

Hillary’s anti-coal, anti-fracking, anti-drilling talk may play well in in Manhattan and Malibu, but maybe not so much in Pennsylvania and Ohio come November 8, 2016.

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