Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Reality Check: EIA Confirms Coal Mining Jobs Rose 7% From 2008 To 2012, Even As Coal Generation Fell!

Just because coal-fired generation declined substantially since 2008 does not mean that the number of coal mining jobs fell too. Here are the surprising facts:

Coal-fired generation declined from 48% of the nation's total supply in 2008 to 37% in 2012.  Even as burning coal to make electricity fell substantially, coal mining jobs increased 7%, according to the EIA and its most recent Short Term Energy Outlook.

Don't believe it? This is what EIA wrote:

"National coal mining employment...is down 2.2% from the same period last year, after increasing by approximately 7% from 2008 to 2012."  Again, coal-mining jobs were up from 2008 to 2012!

While coal jobs grew nationally from 2008 to 2012, they are down 2.2% so far in 2013, even though coal-fired generation is up about 5% this year. The number of coal-mining jobs and the amount of coal-fired generation actually moved in opposite directions since 2008.

In Pennsylvania, the nation's fourth biggest coal producing state, coal mining jobs actually increased 10% from 2008 to 2012. That is a fact that has drawn little or no attention from the media, even though the GOP ran campaigns in 2012 claiming that President Obama and Senator Casey were killing coal jobs.

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