Trump promised to bring back coal, an energy source that’s becoming increasingly less viable by the day. And largely because of this, he won West Virginia in a landslide.
Of course, in the long run, the coal industry is screwed. Renewables are getting cheaper and cheaper, so even if you don’t force coal companies to pay for the negative externalities they create (like pollution and health care costs related to dirty air and occupational hazards), coal will be unable to compete in the long run.
But facts have never stopped Trump or his supporters.
Enter Paul Krugman, who recently made a handy little chart showing just how bad a bargain voting for Trump was, even — or especially — for West Virginians:
With the new Trump effort to destroy the ACA, I'm thinking about West Virginia, where a lot of people gained insurance under the Medicaid expansion, but voted for Trump because he promised to bring back coal. So I made a little chart pic.twitter.com/UrtIIXHn4v
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) March 26, 2019
Of course, that’s nothing compared to convincing an entire state to stubbornly live in the past instead of preparing for the future.
Eventually, every last coal job will be gone and Trump’s purpling corpse will be embalmed with McNugget sauces and given a nautical burial in a New Jersey sewer somewhere. But West Virginians will always need health care. And we’ll all need a green economy, sooner or later.