>> Reviving the beleaguered coal industry after years of plant closures and layoffs was one of Donald Trump's signature campaign promises, but a year after he was elected coal's long term prospects are is bleak as ever. Trump has rolled back Obama era environmental policies, to give coal a boost.
But a Reuters review of mining data shows only modest gains in jobs and production, most because of a temporary uptake in foreign demand not Trump's u-turn on policy. Tim Gardener is reporting the story.>> Even if Trump rolls back all the policies, the fact is low natural gas prices are more attractive for the utilities that are generating the power.
We talked to several of the major utilities, and they're investing billions of dollars in natural gas, and wind, and solar. But they're not building any new Coal plants. There are a few bright spots. Jobs in coal mining have risen about 4% this year. But overriding all these statistics, the utilities, the power utilities, are already saying, that they're gonna shut a whole bunch of power plants until 2025.
There's gonna be a drop of one-third of coal fired capacity, that doesn't spell good news for the industry.>> By the time Trump took office this year, the coal industry had already lost almost half its workforce in less than a decade. The industry's dim prospects could pose a problem for Trump and his fellow Republicans, in the form of unmet expectations in coal states that helped elect him.
>> If Trump doesn't bring back these jobs, there's going to be a growing frustration in Appalachia. It's uncertain whether those states can be turned back to Democrats, but you could see them start to win back a little of that area.>> In 2018 alone, electric power utilities in the US are expected to shut down coal fired plants generating more than 13,000 megawatts of power giving way to natural gas, leaving little sign of a rebound for an industry already on the ropes.