In Colorado politics this year, Democrats ran two anti-energy hard liners in Western Slope districts, and thought they both had decent shots at winning. Neither came close, with CD-3 candidate Gail Schwartz getting crushed by almost 15 points, and Emily Tracy going down by almost ten points.
Stung by years of Obama Administration regulations that aimed to literally “bankrupt” the coal industry, Colorado’s westernmost counties showed up bright red in our purple state. As we close the book on the Obama era, it is obvious that the President kept his promise, with Colorado coal production down by nearly two-thirds in Colorado since Obama took office.
Hillary Clinton promised to continue Obama’s disastrous legacy. Earlier this year at an Ohio event, she famously smiled and announced, “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
We’re not certain how damaging Clinton’s reckless and unhinged comments were to down-ballot candidates, but we do know what Donald Trump said about the coal industry – that his administration’s policies will take direct aim at Democrat policies and breath new life back into the industry.
This positive message of renewal, independence, and hope for Western Slope communities devastated by Democat policies that cost jobs, make energy more costly, and make our country more dependent on our enemies.
A Trump administration is going to be better for Colorado energy jobs in many ways. First of all, Obama’s job killing “Clean Power Plan” will most likely be off the table. This is key for our state, as Governor Hickenlooper decided to move forward with planning for CPP mandates in order to shut down coal mines, even as the regulation’s future was uncertain during a messy ongoing legal battle.
Trump can also move to remove Obama’s ban on leases for coal mining on federal land, another gesture that will remove another artificial barrier to what remains Colorado’s base load power generation resource.
While cheap natural gas will continue be a competitive headwind to clean coal, Clinton’s defeat has a lot of hard working families in western Colorado resting a little easier right now.