Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to her book “What happened”, Hillary Clinton’s biggest regret was joking about putting coal miners out of business because climate.
Hillary Clinton: Here’s the misstep from the campaign I regret the most
SEP 7, 2017, 12:30 AM
In her new book “What Happened” — officially out on September 12 — Hillary Clinton wrote that her biggest regret from the the campaign trail was saying that she would put coal miners out of business.
Clinton made the remark during a town hall in Columbus, Ohio in March 2016, during which she touted her plan to replace fossil fuel-based energy production with renewable systems.
“I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country,” she said. “Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
Clinton later called the comment a “misstatement” that she mistakenly made “out of context.”
But the remark sparked a backlash against Clinton and haunted her throughout the campaign, which Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump worked to center around the suffering of white working class Americans, with a particular focus on struggling coal miners.
Coal mining is a big deal in Pennsylvania. According to Better with Coal, the coal industry provides approximately 36,200 jobs, 13,000 of which are directly related to coal mining. Coal mining average wages are about $30,000 higher than the average of Pennsylvania private sector jobs.
Pennsylvania also currently casts 20 electoral votes in Presidential elections. In the six elections prior to 2016, Pennsylvania voted Democrat. President Trump only won Pennsylvania by 0.7%.
If Hillary Clinton identifies hostility to the coal industry as her biggest regret, it really makes one wonder what conversations are occurring behind closed doors in the upper echelons of the Democratic Party. States like Pennsylvania are winnable – providing the Democrats tone down their green rhetoric, and remember that some of their supporters have real jobs.
Perhaps the climate movement has fewer friends than they thought.