During the speech in which President Trump announced that he would withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord he also touted the opening of a new coal mine in Pennsylvania as evidence that his policies are creating jobs in the mining sector.
On June 8, that mine, Corsa Coal Corporation’s Acosta Mine in Somerset County, opened with much more fanfare than a typical mine opening and included a video recording from the president, The Hill reported.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be speaking with you on this great, great day. The miners of Pennsylvania are mining coal again,” Trump said in the video shown at the event with miners, executives and dignitaries, according to the Tribune-Review.
“Washington may be 180 miles down the road, but I want you to know each and every day, I’m fighting for you and all the forgotten men and women of America,” he said.
The mine will produce approximately 362 kt/a (400,000 stpy) of coal annually for about 15 years and employ between 70 and 100 people. The coal is metallurgical, meant to be burned for production of steel and other metals.
During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to roll back environmental regulations implemented by President Barack Obama. These promises helped Trump carry Pennsylvania’s coal country.
During his speech announcing the Paris Accord decision Trump said, “We’re having a big opening in two weeks … a big opening of a brand-new mine. It’s unheard of. For many, many years, that hasn’t happened.”
However, the Acosta Mine has been in the works for many years, and work started on the mine in August of 2016, before the election.
Demand for thermal coal for electricity generation is trending downward. Coal-fired power plants are continuing to close due to competition from cheap natural gas and environmental rules, and utilities are not planning to open many new plants.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who supports the Paris accord, also participated in the event. The state provided a $3 million grant for the mine, which helped offset the $15 million or so initial investment, the Tribune-Review said.