The Interior Department of Trump Administration ordered a halt to the study of health risks associated with residents living near the surface of coal mining sites in the Appalachian Mountains. A letter was dispatched by the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement that ceased all work by an 11-member committee of projects costing more than $100,000. The president proposed to cut $1.6 billion at Interior next year including 4,000 staff positions.
Coal mining in the mountains consists of mountaintop removal where peaks have been blasted off and valley streams have been buried in rubble. This practice is very destructive to where the government should stop issuing permits for it. However, President Trump has a like for coal miners and coal mining companies and even issued an executive order 5 months ago that lifted a ban on leases for coal excavation on federal land. This would revive the struggling coal industry and create thousands of jobs. On the contrary, The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says that power plant’s new reliance on natural gas over coal is the reason why the industry is lacking jobs. After the executive order was signed, 6 plants were closed down since Trump’s election and at least 40 were expected to close during his term.