Way back in the bygone days of 2016’s presidential election, the coal mining communities of the east coast of these United States became a battleground for political candidates.
You see, these areas of the nation are unique in their resources, and represent a longstanding industrial powerhouse in states such as West Virginia, where coal mining is a way of life and has been for generations.
With climate change fears growing greater each and every election cycle, the fate of coal as a power source continues to shift. Then-candidate Hillary Clinton had a great deal of trouble navigating this political reality while trying to garner votes from Appalachia’s working class. Donald Trump, on the other hand, embraced coal culture wholeheartedly and ended up in the White House.
Now it appears as though Joe Biden may be repeating Clinton’s mistakes.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s suggestion that coal miners should “learn to program” as the United States transitions away from fossil fuels shows “disdain” for the profession, a representative of West Virginia miners said Wednesday on “Fox & Friends.”
Chris Hamilton, co-chair of the West Virginia Coal Forum, hit back at the former vice president for essentially saying coal miners should learn to code or focus on preparing for a revamped green economy.
“Anybody who can go down 300-3,000 feet in a mine sure as hell can learn how to program as well,” said Biden at a campaign event Monday in New Hampshire. “But we don’t think of it that way. Anybody who can throw coal into furnace can learn how to program for God’s sake.”
Hamilton’s response was predictable.
“It’s just inconceivable how someone, particularly in his position could advocate putting tens of thousands of working Americans out of work. But it comes as no surprise. Former Vice President Biden has repeatedly demonstrated his disdain for mining and for our coal miners,” he responded.
Biden has largely been seen as a moderate in the 2020 race, but this stance on coal mining certainly isn’t going to help his credibility among the working class.
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