Coal has long been a primary source of power in the U.S., but has been devastated in the past decade by declining demand and Obama-era environmental policies which prioritized cleaner forms of energy over coal. New discoveries have made natural gas plentiful and cheap, convincing utilities to switch from coal. The rise of renewable energy also poses significant threats to the industry.

President Trump has made no secret of his desire to help the struggling coal industry. His energy team has argued that coal is a crucial fuel source and that its decline is a threat to the ability of electricity distributors to supply businesses and consumers. But the Trump administration’s initiatives to save the industry are unlikely to reverse Big Coal’s long-term decline . . .

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