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Open Discussion Discuss Awaiting Trump's coal comeback, miners reject retraining at the General Forum; Too bad. These people are like Trump university students who followed this orange shlthead to their doom. WAYNESBURG, Pa. (Reuters) ...

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Old 11-01-2017, 09:15 PM
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Default Awaiting Trump's coal comeback, miners reject retraining

Too bad. These people are like Trump university students who followed this orange shlthead to their doom.

WAYNESBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - When Mike Sylvester entered a career training center earlier this year in southwestern Pennsylvania, he found more than one hundred federally funded courses covering everything from computer programming to nursing.

He settled instead on something familiar: a coal mining course.

"I think there is a coal comeback,” said the 33-year-old son of a miner.

Despite broad consensus about coal's bleak future, a years-long effort to diversify the economy of this hard-hit region away from mining is stumbling, with Obama-era jobs retraining classes undersubscribed and future programs at risk under President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget.

Trump has promised to revive coal by rolling back environmental regulations and moved to repeal Obama-era curbs on carbon emissions from power plants.

"I have a lot of faith in President Trump," Sylvester said.

But hundreds of coal-fired plants have closed in recent years, and cheap natural gas continues to erode domestic demand. The Appalachian region has lost about 33,500 mining jobs since 2011, according to the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Although there have been small gains in coal output and hiring this year, driven by foreign demand, production levels remain near lows hit in 1978.

A White House official did not respond to requests for comment on coal policy and retraining for coal workers.

What many experts call false hopes for a coal resurgence have mired economic development efforts here in a catch-22: Coal miners are resisting retraining without ready jobs from new industries, but new companies are unlikely to move here without a trained workforce. The stalled diversification push leaves some of the nation's poorest areas with no clear path to prosperity.

Federal retraining programs have fared better, with some approaching full participation, in the parts of Appalachia where mining has been crushed in a way that leaves little hope for a comeback, according to county officials and recruiters. They include West Virginia and Kentucky, where coal resources have been depleted.

But in southern Pennsylvania, where the industry still has ample reserves and is showing flickers of life, federal jobs retraining programs see sign-up rates below 20 percent, the officials and recruiters said. In southern Virginia's coal country, participation rates run about 50 percent, they said.

"Part of our problem is we still have coal," said Robbie Matesic, executive director of Greene County’s economic development department.

Out-of-work miners cite many reasons beyond faith in Trump policy for their reluctance to train for new industries, according to Reuters interviews with more than a dozen former and prospective coal workers, career counselors and local economic development officials. They say mining pays well; other industries are unfamiliar; and there’s no income during training and no guarantee of a job afterward.

In Pennsylvania, Corsa Coal opened a mine in Somerset in June which will create about 70 jobs – one of the first mines to open here in years. And Consol Energy recently expanded its Bailey mine complex in Greene County.

But Consol also announced in January that it plans to sell its coal holdings to focus on natural gas. And it has commissioned a recruitment agency, GMS Mines and Repair, to find contract laborers for its coal expansion who will be paid about $13 an hour - half the hourly wage of a starting unionized coal worker. The program Sylvester signed up for was set up by GMS.

The new hiring in Pennsylvania is related mainly to an uptick in foreign demand for metallurgical coal, used in producing steel, rather than domestic demand for thermal coal from power plants, the industry's main business. Some market analysts describe the foreign demand as a temporary blip driven by production problems in the coal hub of Australia.

Officials for U.S. coal companies operating in the region, including Consol and Corsa, declined requests for comment.

“The coal industry has stabilized, but it’s not going to come back,” said Blair Zimmerman, a 40-year veteran of the mines who is now the commissioner for Greene County, one of Pennsylvania’s oldest coal regions. “We need to look at the future.”

EMPTY SEATS

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor has received about $2 million since 2015 from the federal POWER program, an initiative of former President Barack Obama to help retrain workers in coal-dependent areas. But the state is having trouble putting even that modest amount of money to good use.

In Greene and Washington counties, 120 people have signed up for jobs retraining outside the mines, far short of the target of 700, said Ami Gatts, director of the Washington-Greene County Job Training Agency. In Westmoreland and Fayette counties, participation in federal job retraining programs has been about 15 percent of capacity, officials said.

"I can't even get them to show up for free food I set up in the office," said Dave Serock, an ex-miner who recruits in Fayette County for Southwest Training Services.

Programs administered by the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal and state partnership to strengthen the region’s economy, have had similar struggles. One $1.4 million ARC project to teach laid-off miners in Greene County and in West Virginia computer coding has signed up only 20 people for 95 slots. Not a single worker has enrolled in another program launched this summer to prepare ex-miners to work in the natural gas sector, officials said.

Greene County Commissioner Zimmerman said he’d like to see a big company like Amazon or Toyota come to southwestern Pennsylvania to build a distribution or manufacturing plant that could employ thousands.

But he knows first the region needs a ready workforce.

Amazon spokeswoman Ashley Robinson said the company the company typically works with local organizations to evaluate whether locations have an appropriate workforce and has no current plans for distribution operations in Western Pennsylvania. Toyota spokesman Edward Lewis said the company considers local workforce training an "important consideration" when deciding where to locate facilities.

SIGNS OF LIFE

Sean Moodie and his brother Steve spent the last two years working in the natural gas industry, but see coal as a good bet in the current political climate.

“I am optimistic that you can make a good career out of coal for the next 50 years,” said Sean Moodie.

Coal jobs are preferable to those in natural gas, they said, because the mines are close to home, while pipeline work requires travel. Like Sylvester, the Moodie brothers are taking mining courses offered by Consol’s recruiter, GMS.

Bob Levo, who runs a GMS training program, offered a measure of realism: The point of the training is to provide low-cost and potentially short-term labor to a struggling industry, he said.

"That’s a major part of the reason that coal mines have been able to survive," he said. "They rely on us to provide labor at lower cost."

Clemmy Allen, 63, a veteran miner and head of the United Mineworkers of America's Career Centers, said miners are taking a big risk in holding out for a coal recovery.

He’s placing his hopes for the region's future on retraining. UMWA’s 64-acre campus in Prosperity, Pennsylvania - which once trained coal miners - will use nearly $3 million in federal and state grants to retrofit classrooms to teach cybersecurity, truck driving and mechanical engineering.

"Unlike when I worked in the mines," he said, "if you get laid off now, you are pretty much laid off."

https://www.yahoo.com/news/awaiting-...110652662.html
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Awaiting Trump's coal comeback, miners reject retraining

So why is China building coal fired plants?

And why are they also being built in Europe, and we are exporting coal to them?

Stupid people don't know this is going on.

Why do you insist on handicapping our Nation?

If we are fair trade minded, we will do what every one else is doing. We will not cave to the left wing idiots who demand coal be left in the ground.

No one has any time for Democratic kill jobs and business ideas any more. We have a country to make great again, so get the "F" out of the way.

Regards, Kirk
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: Awaiting Trump's coal comeback, miners reject retraining

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Originally Posted by 300 H and H View Post
So why is China building coal fired plants?

And why are they also being built in Europe, and we are exporting coal to them?

Stupid people don't know this is going on.

Why do you insist on handicapping our Nation?

If we are fair trade minded, we will do what every one else is doing. We will not cave to the left wing idiots who demand coal be left in the ground.

No one has any time for Democratic kill jobs and business ideas any more. We have a country to make great again, so get the "F" out of the way.

Regards, Kirk
because china is where we and europe were at the beginning of the industrial revolution over a century ago
we do not have the resources we did then, and we know much more about lung disease etc.
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: Awaiting Trump's coal comeback, miners reject retraining

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because china is where we and europe were at the beginning of the industrial revolution over a century ago
we do not have the resources we did then, and we know much more about lung disease etc.


Why should we handicap ourselves so China and Europe can have cheaper power than we do?

Why should they get a business advantage given to them?

They should not.

We should do what ever it takes to compete with them. Coal will be a part of that. Only people convince themselves we should harm ourselves. Idiots think that way.

Regards, Kirk
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Awaiting Trump's coal comeback, miners reject retraining

Because it isn't your planet. It belongs to generations yet unborn.
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Originally Posted by 300 H and H View Post


Why should we handicap ourselves so China and Europe can have cheaper power than we do?

Why should they get a business advantage given to them?

They should not.

We should do what ever it takes to compete with them. Coal will be a part of that. Only people convince themselves we should harm ourselves. Idiots think that way.

Regards, Kirk
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Old 11-03-2017, 12:58 AM
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Default Re: Awaiting Trump's coal comeback, miners reject retraining

Quote:
Originally Posted by 300 H and H View Post


Why should we handicap ourselves so China and Europe can have cheaper power than we do?

Why should they get a business advantage given to them?

They should not.

We should do what ever it takes to compete with them. Coal will be a part of that. Only people convince themselves we should harm ourselves. Idiots think that way.

Regards, Kirk
its the epa but much more than that:


Quote:
The coal industry, long the heart that pumped the economy here, is in deep trouble, buffeted by power plants switching to cheap natural gas, crippling debt, mounting foreign competition and increasingly strict regulations to limit greenhouse gases and toxic emissions like mercury.
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/18/b...ankruptcy.html
Quote:
The most immediate challenge to the coal industry is the hydraulic fracturing revolution that has produced a glut of natural gas over the last four years, making the fuel cheaper to burn and stimulating a relentless switch by utilities away from coal.
Quote:
Since January, six domestic coal producers have filed for bankruptcy, including Patriot Coal, which applied for Chapter 11 for the second time.
Quote:
U.S. coal production has fallen 15 percent since 2008, as power plants have begun to rely increasingly on other sources of energy.
Quote:
stockpiles of coal are mounting at mines as coal-fired power plants shut down month after month.
Quote:
“In the past we always knew that the demand for coal would rebound and the jobs would come back,” Cecil E. Roberts Jr., the United Mine Workers of America president, said in a speech in June. “This time, there is no such certainty. Fundamental changes are underway in America and across the world that will have a lasting impact on the coal industry and our jobs.”
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Old 11-03-2017, 06:57 AM
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Default Re: Awaiting Trump's coal comeback, miners reject retraining

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its the epa but much more than that:



https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/18/b...ankruptcy.html
That coal is part of the multi faceted energy bundle that will last for centuries. Natural gas will not always be cheap. It has swung on the pendulem back and forth just as all commodities tend to do.

Coal will not go away as it is the cheapest. EPA changed that, but obviously the EPA has been very detrimental to business in the USA for far to long. Time to chop the sh1tout the agency and get the partisan kicked out the door, along with the enviormentalist who have infiltrated it's ranks.

Europe and China know the truth, and the way to go. That is why they are building coal fired facilities.

We need to stop being stupid, and do the same. We need to keep competing with both, for the cheapest energy souses for powering our economy.

Regards, Kirk
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: Awaiting Trump's coal comeback, miners reject retraining

Sorry Mijkeyy but 97% of Trump University students did quite well.

Back to the subject,,,;

Coal was shut down by the Obama Administration. He campaigned with a promise to do it and he did. Further, competing with hard coal is the boom of the Natural gas industry (thanks to the questionable practice of Fracking) and energy producers being forced to convert. These pressures are but temporary and will fade into history when common sense and market forces return coal to prominence.

But that Fracking boom is quite possibly short lived. And if so, the energy source of coal will be revisited. Coal will return, albeit slowly. And then there is the potential of exports.

European Nations such as Germany have abandoned their green energy technologies as the costly and fruitless endeavors many predicted them to be. They could not even match a percentage of what was economically and efficiently done with coal. And if we are moving to more EV's in the future, then energy production and transmission capacities must be increased. Green cannot yet meet that demand.

Coal will step in, if only temporarily. The workers in Virginia, who have for generation brought coal from the ground, are quite sane and proper to anticipate this potential over learning to flip burgers and load the shelves at Wal-Mart.

Coal jobs pay well.

Mining jobs are far from handling a shovel in the dark. They are technical to a degree most do not understand, but somehow find reason to control and denigrate as menial manual labor. These "dumb" and "foolish" miners have a lot of training and experience to trade for good wages. And every right to do so.
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Old 11-03-2017, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Awaiting Trump's coal comeback, miners reject retraining

this is about trump's evil luring of these laid off miners not to retrain because he lied and promised them coal would come back.
not in their lifetime where they will still be young enough to work.
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Old 11-03-2017, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Awaiting Trump's coal comeback, miners reject retraining

First time I have heard this one. Define quite well and present evidence.
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Sorry Mijkeyy but 97% of Trump University students did quite well.Back to the subject,,,;
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