Presidential candidates can be tough on climate change — by some metrics, they must be — but anyone wanting to be president must also say a few nice things about coal. This is because in Ohio and Pennsylvania, two states any would-be president almost certainly must win, coal is equated with decent work.
Such appeals are mostly a nostalgic technique, as only 53,000 Americans work in the coal industry today. This is a fraction of the jobs created by the cannabis industry, for which 2018 was a year of record growth. As The New York Times reported over the weekend, as many as 300,000 Americans now work in the cannabis industry. If current trends continue, that figure could eclipse the million-worker mark by decade’s end.